These days, credit card issuers are always on the lookout for new ways to engage cardholders and get them to use their accounts to make purchases, and now one of the best-known is teaming up with a popular social network to create a payment method that works in just 140 characters.
American Express recently announced a partnership with Twitter that uses the site’s popular hashtag feature to complete online purchases, according to a report from the lender. The new program, an extension of the company’s existing Amex Sync option, allows cardholders to add their Twitter accounts to their credit cards, and use hashtags – phrases affixed with a pound sign that allows users to browse other tweets that also contain the phrase – to make special purchases from a number of different companies.
Amex Sync has been on Twitter for some time now, as it allowed users to get special deals offered through Twitter by partner companies, the report said. But now, using special hashtags designated by the lender and other merchants, consumers can use their Twitter accounts to buy American Express gift cards, as well as products from Amazon, Sony, Urban Zen and Xbox 360.
“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 card members and merchants,” said Leslie Berland, Senior Vice President, Digital Partnerships and Development at American Express. “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.”
All a person who is interested has to do is go to American Express’s website, sync their credit card account with their Twitter account, and use the hashtag to make a purchase, the report said. A short time later, Amex Sync’s own Twitter account will tweet back a confirmation hashtag, which the user should then tweet out themselves to complete the purchase. Everything bought with this method will be sent by the merchant with free two-day shipping.
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Credit card technology is constantly evolving, and lenders are often working to adopt those that they think will catch on with consumers, such as digital wallet technology that allows cardholders to make purchases using a smartphone. It’s believed that the mobile purchasing industry will be worth tens of billions annually within just the next few years.