American Express redesigns its banking app

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The payment processor has upgraded the features on its Apple and Android apps to include rewards information, fraud alert verification and biometric technology.

On Apple products American Express users can now access the banking up using Apple’s Touch ID biometric technology, from where they can view their payment statuses and access real time transaction activity.

The redesign also means that users can now view American Express benefits and rewards balances and actually spend the membership reward points for eligible charges in the app.

“Mobile allows us to deepen our relationship with Card Members by helping them better access the benefits, rewards and security they get with American Express. With the redesigned platform, we’re just getting started to make all the amazing services we offer our Card Members come alive in mobile,” said David Yoo, Senior vice president, Mobile Products and Services.

Evidence suggests that American Express are starting to increase their presence on the loyalty and reward schemes front after other new FinTech players such as Google and Microsoft shifted their gaze to that arena. Google has recently worked with the restaurant retailer Jamba Juice and restaurant analytics platform Fishbowl to create a mobile wallet that will contain promotions that can be redeemed on Google’s Android Pay.

Last month Microsoft started running a beta customer rewards programme called Earn, which will allow enrolled customers to receive Microsoft credits when they shop at select US retailers.

More recently, bitcoin has also decided to enter the rewards niche of the payments market, with a partnership between Snapcard, a bitcoin wallet, and online rewards platform Tango Card.

All of these forays into the rewards arena marks a change in attitude from FinTech players, old and new alike. Before, rewards were seen as small, perhaps even nominal, tokens of appreciation that could stir some feelings of loyalty in people.

However, now rewards appear to be taking on a much bigger role whereby they are no longer mere bonuses of using one company or another, but rather active deciding factors for users to choose one company over another.

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