We already heard Starbucks is coming to Passbook by the end of the month, and Target announced yesterday too, but it appears another industry heavyweight, American Express, will also join the party as soon as today. VentureBeat reported the AmEx integration will not allow users to pay with Passbook, but it will be more centered on current promos and recent purchases. See a complete list of features after the break.


“The real-time notification capability allows AmEx to have a two-way dialogue with consumers that hasn’t really existed before. This creates a channel that AmEx could use for new features:

  • See nearby offers from merchants based on your phone’s location. AmEx has been a leader among the credit card companies in creating offers.
  • If a charge is flagged by AmEx fraud systems as suspicious, the network could send a real-time alert to the user’s registered phone number. The user could then enter a PIN to verify the transaction. Or, the transaction could automatically be verified by determining that the phone is in the same location as the merchant. This would help alleviate the pain of false positives in fraud alerts, increasing legitimate transactions, decrease fraud, and decrease customer service calls. Even in the current implementation, simply knowing that a transaction was attempted in Fiji while you’re in Chicago helps to identify fraud.
  • Real-time reviews. Once someone has dined at a restaurant and paid, the transaction alert could be used to solicit a review. This would allow AmEx to create a very powerful competitor to Yelp that avoids two of the biggest data problems with Yelp: it ensures that only verified customers can review a business, and it should increase the volume of data collected byclosing the loop and soliciting feedback. (Disclosure: I am short $YELP.) As I’ve written before, transaction data makes AmEx the king of checkins.
  • Real-time redemption of Membership Rewards points, AmEx’s loyalty program. When a transaction occurs, the notification could offer consumers the option to pay with points instead of with cash.
  • Transaction review data for the blind. The real-time transaction information could be spoken to blind customers, allowing them to verify the transaction amount that was authorized and resolve any issues while they are still at a business instead of after the fact.”

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