Inside American Express’ strategic move into business banking with Gina Taylor

  • After launching a couple of years ago, American Express has gone general availability with its business checking account.
  • Amex's Gina Taylor joins us on the podcast to talk about what Amex's move into business banking really means for the firm and its card members.

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Inside American Express’ strategic move into business banking with Gina Taylor

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but American Express has moved decisively into banking small businesses over the past couple of years. We’ve definitely tried to track this evolution for the firm because it isn’t trivial – not for the firm and not for its customers. It’s not just an up-market card with a revolver. Today’s Amex offers a business checking account and cash flow monitoring that serves more and more as a firm’s homebase, a dashboard. 

Gina Taylor, Amex’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of Business Blueprint and Banking, joins me on the show to discuss the inspiration behind the launch of American Express Business Checking and how it aligns with the company’s vision for supporting small businesses. Importantly, beyond the no monthly fees and earning rewards, Gina shares what she sees are the key value propositions American Express Business Checking offers to differentiate itself in an increasingly crowded market. 

The big ideas

  1. Introduction of American Express Business Checking Account:
    • “Yes. So we launched the American Express business checking account a couple of years ago. And we’re very, very excited to have announced that we’ve moved to general availability for all US small businesses to apply.”
    • “It’s our first business banking product offered by American Express, and it allows customers to earn and redeem membership rewards points.”
  2. Integration of Membership Rewards into Business Checking:
    • “It allows American Express business checking customers to earn and redeem membership rewards points, which is very exciting especially for our customers, but more broadly given the reach of that program.”
    • “It allows small business owners to redeem their membership rewards points into the checking account, as well as be able to earn membership rewards points with the debit card.”
  3. Focus on Simplifying Small Business Finances:
    • “Our objective is to simplify small business owners’ lives. They are often the jack of all trades, they have quite a few things going on. We’re really trying to create a set of connected financial products for small business owners to simplify and digitize their financial lives.”
    • “We have a platform, which is American Express Business Blueprint, where small business owners can see, they can view all of their American Express products, as well as external products that they linked to have that dashboard and quick check on their vitals so they can manage their finances.”
  4. Differentiation Between Existing Card Members and Prospective Customers:
    • “So the profile maybe a little bit more different? I think that’s the way that I answer it more from a segment perspective.”
    • “Separately, we also know from talking to many small businesses over many years, that when a small business is deciding to actually perhaps move from their personal cards and checking account, there may be taking that next step, to create business, actually manage their products, from a business perspective, manage their finances, from a business perspective.”
  5. Ecosystem Building and Future Plans:
    • “Right now, the focus is getting the core products working well for small business owners getting the feedback from them and creating the connection.”
    • “We are thinking about overtime. What are the other value propositions that would make sense in this ecosystem? Again, customer centricity is first — what do they need?”

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The following excerpts were edited for clarity.

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