Amex Go Targets Australia for Virtual Card Mobile Payments
American Express has always been something of an also-ran when it comes to the credit card scene. Long lagging behind Mastercard and Visa—Visa once famously used American Express as a whipping boy in a series of ads where it declared that it was available everywhere, even where they don’t take American Express—this card vendor has been frantically trying to pull out of third place for years. Its latest maneuver, meanwhile, sees it heading for Australia’s sunny shores, where it’s targeting the corporate virtual card market.
With this latest move, Amex is now offering a slate of services geared toward corporate finance operations, paying particular attention to the enterprise and mid-market user. The services include the option to build in time limits as well as spending limits, which make them excellent options for anyone with a lot of, say, outside sales operations.
This isn’t exactly a novel strategy; Visa and Mastercard have both rolled out similar solutions. Amex’s is unique in the field, however, as it specifically targets corporate client users rather than going through their banks.
Gint Balodis, Amex vice president of global B2B operations and international product management, noted “Mid-sized and large companies are operating with a new, dynamic workforce, as they increasingly employee freelancers and contractors who previously had to wait for several weeks to be reimbursed for business and travel purchases. American Express Go was created to alleviate customer pain points faced by companies and their changing workforce by combining the control and flexibility of virtual cards with the convenience of a physical card that can be swiped on the go.”
Amex’s plan to target the businesses directly instead of going through banks could be a winner, or not. Going through a bank is a wholesale strategy, almost like broadcast advertising. While Amex’s plan allows for closer pitch tailoring—like targeted advertising—it also makes for a more difficult operating environment. Using a universal pitch with single-target businesses is almost a wasted opportunity, but individually-targeted pitches take a lot of effort.
Still, Amex’s plan could pay dividends in the long run, and that could be worth paying extra for all that extra tailoring on the sales pitches, giving Amex Go a better shot at the Australian market.