American Express and PayPal go head to head with Facebook payment apps

Now you can add 'paying people back' to the list of things you do with your Facebook friends. American Express goes head to head with PayPal in its attempt to dominate digital wallets.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Credit: Facebook Serve

Credit: Facebook Serve

Now you can add 'paying people back' to the list of things you do with your friends on Facebook. American Express has announced Serve, a new Facebook app that allows you to send and receive payments online.

Serve, is a 'next-generation digital payment commerce platform' which can help you 'organize your money, send and receive funds, and manage payment requests from a single, unified online account'.

Serve has been created by American Express so the security, technology, and data protection has the benefit of the existing back end systems and processes.

Currently this service is available in the US only.

American Express launched Serve last year, after its acquisition of Revolution Money for $300 million and has partnered with Facebook.  It was hinting at partnerships with gaming companies such as Zynga creaters of games such as Farmville and Cityville, last year.

Users can send money to anyone in their Facebook friends list by selecting the friend, entering the dollar amount, and clicking send.

If someone owes you cash, just choose the friend and request the money. You don't need to worry about remembering email addresses. Your Facebook connection is enough.

Digital Wallet dominance

American Express is going head to head with PayPal in its attempt to dominate the digital wallet platform.

Serve Joins PayPal in enabling financial transactions on Facebook. PayPal launched its Send Money app in November which has similar features to the Serve Facebook app.  Serve will also offer widgets that let you raise money or set up charity campaigns.

Dan Schulman, group president, Enterprise Growth, American Express said: "We're constantly working to bring our customers a seamless consistent payment experience -- one that makes sense for our increasingly social lives, whether that's paying a friend back for movie tickets or sending someone money for your share of the vacation house -- it can now be sent on Facebook."

Its not the first time that Facebook has teamed up with American Express. In November, American Express offered $100 in Facebook advertising for Small Business Saturday.

In April last year, Serve also offered the 'Pay Me fool' app on Facebook which asked your friends for money but didn't provide any way for the money transfer to be effected,

Will Serve succeed on Facebook? Would you trust the payment app more than PayPal because its backed by American Express? Would you use the PayPal app within Facebook?

Or will you avoid parting with any of your cash via the Facebook platform and pay your friends back in the way you always have?

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