I’ve worked in the bank card space before many readers of this newswrapper were born. American Express has always impressed me as a nimble, albeit large, competitor to bank cards. Their new product announcement for American Express Cobalt looks like a winner. It will disrupt the Canadian push for Air travel rewards and heighten competition for millennials.
The Canadian arm of the American Express Co. is going mobile-first in more than one sense with its newest credit card offering.
The new card features a loyalty point system that provides users with five times the usual number of points on food and drink, including grocery shopping; and twice the points on travel, including mass transit tickets, Uber fares, and taxis.
Travel rewards are getting a bit tired. Seats are hard to find, airlines look to squeeze revenue from every seat with junk fees, and millenials don’t seem to be too impressed with high-priced vacations. Cash rewards appeal to everyone.
“They’re much more tech-savvy, much more social in nature, they prioritize food and travel and entertainment – experiences – over consumer goods, and so we wanted to design a card that spoke to that, basically rewarding people for what they’re already doing instead of trying to alter their behaviour to fit a value proposition that we’ve created.”
..the card was designed start to finish as a mobile-first experience, with users able to use the Cobalt’s accompanying app to register for the card, verify their identities, track their spending, and use it with mobile payment platforms including Apple Pay, Android Pay, and American Express’s own AmEx Pay.
And, in a statement that hits home on product design for us older hacks (but not relevant to risk management)
Lest you think (as this millennial writer did) that Cobalt was developed by older American Express employees pandering to a younger customer base, Cocksedge is happy to emphasize that isn’t the case.
Overview by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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