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Spend with Amex: Card Acceptance More than Doubles Globally

July 26, 2022

American Express connects millions of customers and businesses around the world, and we’re proud to say that number has more than doubled since 2017 – to over 66 million businesses globally and our Card Members are taking notice. According to a recent Amex Trendex survey*, 70% of Millennial and Gen Z Card Members said they plan to use their American Express for the majority of their purchases when traveling internationally this summer.

Raymond Joabar, Group President, Global Merchant and Network Services, a 30-year Amex colleague who has served in many roles during his tenure, shared his insights on how his organization is driving growth for American Express by enabling more Card Members to use their Cards in more places, and in more ways, around the world.

Here’s our conversation with Raymond:

Why are more businesses than ever accepting American Express?

We are focused on deepening relationships with our merchants by helping their businesses benefit and grow from accepting American Express. They are all important members on our network.

They want value, benefits, and great service just like our Card Members. They also want to know that accepting American Express is going to be simple, seamless, and secure.

How is American Express helping businesses grow by accepting our Cards?

By partnering with us, our merchants get access to a group of higher-spending customers. In fact, our Card Members spend, on average, 3X as much as non-Card Members annually.** Together, we create special offers – including credits and discounts – personalized to Card Members’ spending habits. These are easily loaded onto their Cards right from the Amex app.

We are also expanding how we help merchants run and grow their businesses too – with access to their own discounts and offers, as well as financing and payment tools.

How are new locations being added to the network so quickly?

We have always had direct merchant relationships – they accept American Express Cards through us. In addition to growing those direct relationships, we are also expanding our relationships with partners (like Stripe and Square) who can set up American Express acceptance for businesses on our behalf. This helps us scale because more merchants can be added to the network at a faster pace.

What is American Express’ vision for Card acceptance, both for Card Members and for merchants?

Our vision is to grow and expand the network so that our Card Members can spend with Amex across the globe – wherever they live, work and travel. We’ll do that by making the Amex acceptance process even more simple, seamless, and secure for our merchants and partners.

A big part of growing the network is looking to the future of how Card Members shop. We’ve seen tremendous growth of online shopping – with over 50% of transactions coming from online purchases or through contactless payments. We’re also working with both corporate buyers and suppliers to digitize business-to-business (B2B) payments. Today, the way businesses buy and sell from one another is still very manual, complex, and costly – there’s a lot of opportunity to make B2B payments better.

We’re working closely with industries that haven’t been as card-focused in the past- like contactless payments for transit. Keeping a pulse on new trends helps us pinpoint where we want to evolve and form new partnerships.

The payments world is changing every day, and so are our Card Members' spending habits and merchants’ needs. We’ll be evolving right alongside of them.

*Methodology: This Morning Consult poll was conducted between May 6-9th, 2022 among a national sample of 2,000 US travelers who have a household income of at least $70K and defined as adults who typically travel by air at least once a year. Within this audience, the Gen Z/Millennial demographic group is defined as respondents who were born between the following years: 1981- 2004. Results from the survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

**According to Nilson Report #1,213, February 2022. Spend per card derived from U.S. year-end purchase volume divided by year-end cards in force (CIF), not from individual consumer-level data. CIF represents the number of cards issued and outstanding with cardholders. Average Non-American Express spend per card includes Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit and charge card volume and CIF and excludes debit and prepaid volume and CIF.

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