Verizon Wireless has announced a deal to make mobile transactions easier by integrating American Express’ Serve service into its handsets. Serve is a digital payment service similar to Paypal which allows users to tie numerous accounts (bank account, credit card account, etc..) to one central online payment system. Soon, Verizon customers will have the ability to link their mobile number to their Serve account. Users will then be able to input their phone number and PIN to easily checkout anywhere Serve is accepted.
With future mobile payment services such as NFC being developed, Verizon and AMEX are hoping Serve will fill the niche of consumers not quite ready or willing to dive right into a contactless, one-swipe payment service such as NFC. In my opinion, this partnership is just another way for Big Red and its partners to push what is best for them onto consumers. To be honest, I don’t know a single person who even uses Serve. It was hard enough getting consumers to trust and adopt Paypal and yet they are expecting consumers to put their trust and information into the hands of this lesser known Serve service? Call me pessimistic but I don’t see it happining. Then again, if there’s anyone who can succeed in force feeding customers things they don’t need, it’s Verizon.
What do you guys think? Any Serve users out there? I’d love to hear opinions on this announcement and whether or not it will be usefull or DOA. Comment below and let us know.
[spoiler show=”Press Release”]Verizon to Integrate American Express’ Serve on Wireless Phones and Tablets
Verizon Wireless customers to have access to simple and easy mobile payments powered by Serve, American Express’ new digital payment platform
NEW YORK and BASKING RIDGE, NJ, August 1, 2011 —
American Express and Verizon Wireless today announced they will integrate Serve, a next-generation digital payment and commerce platform, on many Verizon mobile phones and tablets. Over the coming months, Verizon Wireless customers will be able to establish Serve accounts that will enable them to make payments and redeem offers for goods and services directly from their mobile phones and tablets using Serve.
Serve simplifies the online checkout experience by authenticating a mobile number, then allowing a customer to make a purchase on-screen. Verizon Wireless customers who use Serve can expect to buy goods and services on their mobile phone in just a few clicks. Merchants who accept Serve mobile payments will enjoy a streamlined option for processing and settlement. The Serve card is currently accepted by the millions of merchants in the United States who accept American Express.
American Express and Verizon Wireless will also collaborate to source, distribute and simplify redemption of online and mobile offers with participating merchants through the use of the Serve account. For example, as customers redeem certain offers or coupons using their mobile phones, the credit may automatically appear in their Serve account.
The two companies are also working with Payfone to support Serve checkout on Verizon Wireless devices. Payfone’s pre-authorization and intelligent routing features will help Verizon Wireless customers who use the Serve application make mobile payments simply and securely.
“Our collaboration with Verizon highlights the speed at which Serve is evolving to reach a wide audience,” said Dan Schulman, group president, Enterprise Growth, American Express. “Verizon Wireless customers will soon be able to complement their busy lifestyle with a trusted payment platform that delivers a fast, flexible and secure way to manage their day-to-day mobile purchases, and together we’re taking the necessary steps to make mobile commerce a reality.”
Greg Haller, president, Enterprise & Government for Verizon Wireless, said, “Serve provides a quick and intuitive way for our customers to use their mobile service in a refreshingly convenient way. 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.”
Merchants who are interested in accepting mobile payments through Serve and Verizon can learn more at serve.com/billmyphone.[/spoiler]