Two companies that share the same founders and a rich history, Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and American Express (NYSE: AXP), announced today a new chapter of partnership that will see Wells Fargo issuing new credit cards accepted on the American Express network.
Wells Fargo will make the cards available in the marketplace nationwide by mid-2014. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"We are delivering on our strategy to expand our credit card business," said John Stumpf, Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo. "Our goal is to offer Wells Fargo customers a suite of cards that help them meet their financial goals. We're proud to have American Express as a partner in this effort -- a great company with a proven brand for customer service."
Wells Fargo customers will be able to apply for the cards through mail, online, phone and 6,000 retail store locations. Wells Fargo will conduct a pilot program for customers in select U.S. markets starting in the third quarter of 2013, with a full scale launch in the first half of 2014. The new cards will be accepted on the American Express global merchant network.
"Given the fact that two of our founders were Henry Wells and William Fargo, this partnership is especially significant to all of us at American Express," said Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO, American Express. "Wells Fargo is an outstanding addition to our global network of card-issuing partners. We look forward to starting a new journey with them and to delivering premium value and service to Wells Fargo's customers."
Avid Modjtabai, head of Wells Fargo's Consumer Lending Group added, "We want to give the customers who already carry our card – and the ones who don't yet – greater rewards and benefits for having a Wells Fargo card in their wallets. The breadth of our offerings, our strong retail network and the power of this new partnership with American Express position us well to continue to deliver compelling choices and experiences to our customers."
As part of the card-issuing partnership, American Express is providing its Partner Advantage capabilities and services to support Wells Fargo in developing a suite of products that will offer a superior set of experiences, exclusive benefits and customized offers from the American Express network, both online and offline. Separately, LoyaltyEdge from American Express will assist in the design of a new Wells Fargo loyalty program by offering a broad range of merchandise and gift cards that Wells Fargo's consumer credit customers will be able to redeem with their points.
"Wells Fargo is one of the most respected financial institutions in the U.S., and we are delighted to bring the power of our brands together to offer Wells Fargo's customers an exciting new suite of high-value products that will provide rich rewards and benefits together with remarkable customer service," said William Stredwick, senior vice president, Global Network Partnerships, North America, American Express. "In doing so, we can support Wells Fargo's efforts to grow their credit card business and further extend the benefits of the American Express network."
About the Joint History between Wells Fargo and American Express
In 1850, Henry Wells, William G. Fargo and John Butterfield joined to establish the American Express Company to transport packages, valuables, and goods. In 1852, Henry Wells and William Fargo formed Wells Fargo & Company to extend reliable banking and express service to the Pacific Coast following the discovery of gold in California. John Butterfield, American Express founder and Vice President, maintained the American Express business based in New York, expanding its East Coast operations, while Henry Wells and William Fargo served as the first and second president of American Express, respectively.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, and the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank's customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune's 2013 rankings of America's largest corporations. Wells Fargo's vision is to satisfy all our customers' financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at blog.wellsfargo.com.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/companies/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.
Since 1997, American Express has partnered with a select group of leading banks and financial institutions around the world to issue American Express-branded products and acquire merchants on to the American Express merchant network. By leveraging its partnerships, global infrastructure and the powerful appeal of the brand, American Express has gained even broader reach for its network worldwide.
LoyaltyEdge helps organizations design, build and manage scalable loyalty solutions that serve all customers regardless of payment type. It was created in 2009 and is a part of the Enterprise Growth division of American Express.