American Express’s acquisition of Kabbage came at an exciting time. As the world toiled with the threat of COVID-19, the firm plowed ahead to buy “a leading financial technology company providing cash flow management solutions to small businesses in the U.S.” American Express’ expectation for Kabbage as a vehicle to address small business needs was summarized in the following fashion:
- Kabbage’s products include access to flexible lines of credit, online bill payment, cash flow visualization tools, e-gift certificates, and the ability to centralize funds through the company’s recently launched business checking account.
Less than a year after closure, American Express is ready to bring the first new facet to market, as the firm announced in a press release today. According to the release,
- Kabbage, an American Express Company, today launched Kabbage Checking, the first business checking account offered by American Express and built for U.S. small businesses. With an annual percentage yield (APY) of 1.10 percent on balances up to $100,000, Kabbage Checking is designed to help small businesses grow, with no monthly maintenance fees, no set-up fees, and convenient on-the-go features—all backed by American Express.
- Now available to eligible U.S. small businesses, Kabbage Checking marks the first of several new digital cash flow management solutions from American Express. American Express has also begun offering Kabbage Funding™ to millions of existing customers with plans to make it more broadly available later this year. Kabbage Funding offers small businesses the opportunity to apply for flexible lines of credit between $1,000 and $150,000. Together, these products are a part of an integrated platform from Kabbage, combining data-driven products, including payment processing and business insights, to help U.S. small businesses manage their cash flow.
It is not likely that Kabbage will compete with American Express’s long-standing small business credit card offerings. American Express offers 12 variations of its small business card today, ranging from its core offerings of The Business Platinum Card, the Business Gold Card, the Plum Card, and the Business Green Rewards Card. In addition, business Card co-brands include the Business Blue Cash and Business Plus Credit card, Marriott, Hilton, Lowes, and three variations of Delta Airlines. The American Express Blue Business Cash Card and the Blue Business Plus Card also complement the offerings.
The downfield play on the Kabbage small business checking account, which resides in an FDIC insured account through Green Dot Bank, creates a pathway into small business lending. CNBC reported:
- The card company has begun offering credit lines of $1,000 to $150,000 for small businesses, leaning on Kabbage’s automated underwriting software.
- As part of its cash management platform, the company will be able to deliver insights to users including when to pay vendors and borrow money, Petralia said.
The Kabbage acquisition took confidence in the small business market during an unsteady climate; it appears that American Express is ready to lever their investment, which will likely ignite the small business borrowing and lending market.
Overview provided by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group