PayPal has been the dominating force in online payments for years. There have been many companies that have tried to beat and surpass PayPal, but so far, no competitors have really stepped up to the plate. American Express is taking their swing at online payment methods by offering an identical service to PayPal called “Serve”.
Serve will allow its users to make purchases and person-to-person payments via a variety of methods: online, mobile, and anywhere American Express is accepted. Just like PayPal, Serve can be funded from bank accounts, credit cards or from another Serve account.
Serve is nothing new, despite the press release making it seem like it’s a brand new product. They’re trying to make everyone catch on to the Serve trend by waiving consumer fees for the next six months. The fees include a 2.9% + 30cents when adding money to your account, which is free when using cash, debit or ACH. ATM Cash Withdrawals are also $2 a pop after the first one of each month. To put that in perspective, PayPal uses the same exact rate when you get paid for purchases or sending/receiving of personal transfers and only $1 per ATM withdrawal.
So far “Serve” is nothing new to the market, but American Express is planning on evolving the product into something better. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but right now I’m not making the switch; are you?