American Express has just announced the launch of Serve, “the next generation digital payment platform.” Similar to how PayPal works, Serve acts as a middleman for consumers to purchase things online and offline – the catch is that the merchants need to accept American Express cards. Through Serve, users without credit cards or are unwilling to publish their card details online will find Serve highly convenient. Serve doesn’t have any service charges for transactions, instead, they charge 2.9% = 30c per load whenever users deposit money into a Serve account, and there is a $2.00 charge for the first withdrawal of every month (every withdrawal after that in the same month will have no charges). Serve can also be used for offline transactions with the purchase of a reloadable prepaid card. Users can check up on their accounts through an iOS or Android app, through Serve.com and Facebook. Sounds like a nice complement to PayPal, especially with merchants who only accept American Express cards. Serve is available now in the US and will roll out to the rest of the world soon.
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