Verizon, AmEx partner on digital payment platform for phones, tablets

Verizon Wireless and American Express will integrate the Serve digital payment and commerce platform on several smartphones and tablets.

Verizon Wireless and American Express on Monday announced that they will integrate a digital payment and commerce platform on several smartphones and tablets.

The platform, named "Serve," can be used to make payments and redeem offers digitally. Verizon will encourage its customers to sign up for Serve accounts, which will allow the service to authenticate purchases through their mobile phone number.

It's scheduled to be available "over the coming months."

As for the merchant side of the equation, Serve is accepted by any vendor that accepts American Express.

The partnership gets more traction with regard to the redemption of "offers," i.e. digital coupons, which will allow the companies to place credits directly on a customer's Serve account.

The companies are also working with Payfone to support that company's pre-authorization and routing technology to speed mobile device checkout.

It's the latest push by major companies to monetize the mobile platform, particularly Verizon, which owns a part of the Isis platform (that also has a deal with AmEx) and previously struck a deal with Payfone in June.

The question: can all the puzzle pieces come together without customers noticing the edges?


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