American Express Launches First “Pay-By-Tweet” Service

Tuesday, 12 Feb 2013 03:08 PM

By June Manning

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The first “pay-by-tweet” service has been introduced on Twitter by American Express, which will allow cardholders to buy products by sending a short message on Twitter.

“We’re convinced that commerce is going to be one of the areas [for which] advertisers are going to start using our platform,” Joel Lunenfeld, Twitter’s vice president of global brand strategy, told The Wall Street Journal.

With the “Amex Sync” integration, users can link their Twitter and American Express accounts to enable them to accept offers from merchants by tweeting a special hashtag included with the offer. The user then tweets their confirmation to a follow-up message from Amex within 15 minutes and Amex forwards the information to the merchant to complete the transaction.

Editor's Note: This Wasn’t an Accident — Experts Testify on Financial Meltdown

“We’re turning a tweet into an actual transaction,” Leslie Berland, head of digital partnerships and development at Amex, told the Financial Times.

Twitter users will have the ability to respond to a merchant’s offer and make a purchase without leaving the Twitter site, Berland explained.

Amex initially launched its Twitter Sync feature in 2012, but it only allowed customers to get discount deals by tweeting hashtags of special offers. The feature has now been extended to allow payments.

Twitter has attempted to launch its own offers, known as “Twitsclusives,” whereby merchants issue discount codes to users that they can use when shopping elsewhere. However, the offers have not been widely adopted, according to the Times.

“Based on the initial success of Amex Sync for offers, we know there is significant power in combining our assets with Twitter’s platform to bring value to cardmembers and merchants,” Berland said. “Now, we’re leveraging our unique technology and closed-loop network to introduce a seamless solution that redefines what’s possible in the world of social commerce.”

To begin with, the offers will include discounted Amex gift cards and products from Amazon, Sony, Urban Zen and Xbox 360.

Neither Twitter nor Amex disclosed financial terms of their partnership. However, Berland told the Times that Twitter would not receive any revenue from the transactions.

“It is all our technology, built on their platform,” she explained.

A person familiar with the agreement said Twitter would benefit from the increased advertising surrounding ecommerce, as merchants send out more “promoted tweets” to publicize their offers.

Editor's Note:
This Wasn’t an Accident — Experts Testify on Financial Meltdown

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