Amex Relaunches Serve with Free Cash Reloads through InComm (Oct. 8, 2013)
American Express today announced a relaunch of its Serve prepaid account, packing the card with a raft of new features and benefits, including free cash-reload services at CVS and 7-Eleven stores nationwide, plus online bill payment and money management tools, for $1 a month. The monthly fee is waived if customers use direct deposit or add $500 in any month, making Serve one of the most affordable prepaid cards in the U.S., according to Dan Schulman, American Express’ group president, enterprise growth. Through a deal with InComm’s Vanilla Reload Network, Serve cardholders may load cash for free at 14,000 stores now and 20,000 by the end of the year with the addition of Walgreens, Duane Reade, Family Dollar and Office Depot. Cardholders may withdraw cash free at 22,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide (withdrawals through other ATMs are $2 each). American Express in December also will add mobile check deposit to Serve, the company said.
To get Serve into customers’ hands, American Express is offering cards free to customers who sign up online and through participating retailers; the regular purchase price is $2.95. American Express said it will begin charging its $1 monthly fee Dec. 3.
With Serve’s beefed-up features along with Bluebird, the Paybefore Award-winning prepaid card it launched last year with Walmart, American Express now has two products for different segments of unbanked and underbanked customers, Stefan Happ, American Express general manager of online and mobile, tells Paybefore. Bluebird has no monthly fee but Serve offers a few more utilities for users, including the ability to load funds to the Serve account from a credit card, and Serve also is integrated into the Isis mobile wallet, for added convenience, he says.