While browsing the web last night, I ran across an interesting article about “Serve, ” which is a new online payment service from American Express. AmEx is touting this as “the next generation digital platform, ” and it’s clearly intended to compete with PayPal. I haven’t had a chance to play with it myself (yet!), but the signup process is reportedly very easy.
As for using Serve, you can move money into your account from a bank account, debit card, or credit card, and money can also be transferred between Serve accounts. You can use your Serve account to send/receive money amongst friends, pay bills, make online purchases, etc. You will also receive a re-loadable, pre-paid card that is linked to your account for offline use at any merchant or ATM that accepts American Express cards.
There are apparently no fees for transactions between Serve users, but there are some other fees that you’ll want to know about. For starters, there’s a 2.9% + $0.30 fee to load your account with a credit, though that discounted to 0% for cash, debit, and ACH transactions. There is also a $2.00 fee for ATM cash withdrawals. Note that all fees are waived for the first six months*.
*Note: It has not escaped my attention that you might be able to use Serve to generate credit card rewards and/or break through cash back tiers, at least until the fees for funding your account with a credit card kick in.