Verizon Expands Mobile Payment Strategy with AmEx Partnership

By Beecher Tuttle August 01, 2011

Verizon Wireless has tapped American Express to help bring mobile payment technology to its subscribers' fingertips.

The wireless carrier said on Monday that it will integrate the Amex-designed payment platform, known as Serve, into mobile phones and tablets that run on its network. The system allows users to make payments and redeem offers from participating merchants using just their mobile device. All payments will be authenticated using the mobile number associated with the Verizon account.

The deal, which pairs together the nation's largest wireless carrier and the biggest credit card issuer by purchases, underscores the recent push by operators and Internet companies to turn mobile phones into electronic wallets. Monday's agreement comes on the heels of Amex inking a similar deal with Sprint Nextel to offer a payment system to owners of Android-based headsets.

Isis, the mobile payment joint venture established by AT&T Mobility, Verizon and T-Mobile, is also developing “mobile wallet” software that allows smartphone owners to make point-of-sale purchases.

However, Serve looks to be a step ahead of these other offerings because of the flexibility that it can provide its users. While Isis and other competing platforms rely on in-store purchases where a mobile phone essentially replaces a credit card, Serve allows users to make payments from anywhere with just a few clicks.

Verizon will continue its involvement in Isis, and will offer Serve as another mobile payment option.

American Express says that the Serve card is currently accepted by millions of retailers that have existing relationships with the card holder.

By integrating Serve and helping to form Isis, Verizon is well positioned to take the lead in the thriving mobile payment space.

"Serve provides a quick and intuitive way for our customers to use their mobile service in a refreshingly convenient way," Greg Haller, president, Enterprise & Government for Verizon Wireless, noted in a statement. "Our commitment to building the entire mobile payments ecosystem, through our Isis joint venture and now with Serve, gives customers incredible new ways to use their mobile devices."

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

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