American Express

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American Express gets into mobile payments

American Express is diving into the e-wallet space with Serve, a service that lets customers transfer money to others online and make payments with their mobile phones.

In its announcement Monday, AmEx said Serve is aimed at customers who use cash, checks and debit cards, rather than the company’s traditional credit card users. Get the full story »

Chicago businesses spending more at restaurants

Spending by Chicago businesses on dining and retail goods rose in the fourth quarter of 2010 from a year earlier, showing “an overall corporate spending resurgence,” according to data released by American Express Business Insights. Get the full story »

American Express revenue up 13% in 4Q

American Express Co. said fourth-quarter revenue grew 13 percent from a year earlier, as consumer spending increased and the company earned more from fees.

The credit card lender and payment network Monday reported $7.3 billion of quarterly revenue net of interest expense, up from $6.5 billion a year earlier. Get the full story »

American Express to cut 550 jobs in restructuring

American Express Co.  said Wednesday that it will cut about 550 jobs as part of restructuring efforts. At the same time, the company also projected fourth-quarter earnings that slightly missed Wall Street estimates.

Shares recently fell 2.5 percent, to $45.21. Get the full story »

AmEx to buy Itasca anti-fraud firm for $150M

American Express said Thursday it was paying $150 million to acquire Accertify Inc., an Itasca-based firm that specializes in fighting online fraud.

Founded in 2007 by Jeff Liesendahl and other veterans of Orbitz, Accertify provides airlines and other online merchants with an extra layer of security to help them combat identity theft and credit-card fraud.

The firm’s customers include Delta, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines and Sony, 1-800 Flowers, Barnes & Noble, Urban Outfitters, Electronic Arts, StubHub,, Autotrader and Zipcar. Get the full story »

Halloween spending trends: Less trick, more treat

Chicago Costume has a wide array of items for Halloween, for which people are expected to spend an average of $73, according to an American Express survey. (Alex Garcia/Tribune)

By Dawn Rhodes | Ankit Patel and Valerie Loborec were scouring the aisles at the cavernous Chicago Costume in Lincoln Park, hoping to find the perfect Halloween costume.

Patel, 26, of Lakeview, didn’t want to spend more than $60 and came away empty-handed.

“I just don’t think it’s worth it,” he said, standing next to a display of accessories for two of the hottest themes: Lady Gaga and Jersey Shore cast members. “It’s just one day and you don’t want to wear the same thing over again.” Get the full story »

American Express sued by U.S. over card fees

The Justice Department sued American Express on Monday for allegedly violating antitrust law over credit card acceptance rules, and settled with Visa and MasterCard on the same issue.

The Justice Department, in a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, said the case was focused on credit card companies’ efforts to stop merchants from steering customers to credit cards with lower fees imposed on the merchant.

In a proposed final judgment, Visa and MasterCard must allow merchants to offer discounts to customers who use cards that charge the stores less. Get the full story »

Analyst: Amex payment data out of sync

American Express tells online customers that they’re 30-plus days past due when they’ve only missed their payment deadline by a few days, according to a study released Monday on late-payment policies of credit card companies. Get the full story »

ShoreBank’s buyer lays off 60 employees

An exterior view of ShoreBank at 3401 S. King Drive on the South Side, May 18, 2010. (Chris Walker/Chicago Tribune)

The company that bought ShoreBank has cut about 60 of the more than 300 positions at the recently failed South Side lender.

Urban Partnership Bank, the newly formed group that on Aug. 20 acquired ShoreBank through a deal brokered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said the job cuts were “a difficult decision.”

But “a smaller workforce is needed going forward in order for Urban Partnership Bank to continue the mission and to be a strong, sustainable player in our communities,” said Brian Berg, spokesman for Urban Partnership Bank. Get the full story »

Urban Partnership Bank names board

Urban Partnership Bank, the newly formed group that last week bought failed Chicago-based ShoreBank, has named five-people to its board of directors.

It includes three former First Chicago executives who had joined ShoreBank in recent months during its last-ditch and ultimately unsuccessful effort to raise capital so state and federal regulators wouldn’t seize it.

Those are David Vitale, who, as previously reported, will serve as chairman; William Farrow, who, as reported, will be president and chief executive officer; and Eileen Kennedy, another former First Chicago executive who had joined ShoreBank in recent months. Get the full story »

Survey: Consumers most satisfied with Amex cards

U.S. consumers are slightly more satisfied with their credit cards after a new disclosure law came into effect in February, with American Express being the top pick for the fourth year in a row, followed by Discover cards, an annual survey showed. The J.D. Power and Associates poll released Thursday showed that satisfaction rebounded from a 3-year low in 2009. Get the full story »