WebBank to Issue Credit Cards on the American Express Network
Soon, select credit cards offered by financial technology firms could be bearing a different logo. This week, WebBank and American Express revealed a new partnership that will see the bank issuing cards that operate on the Amex network. In particular, Amex expressed interest in working with WebBank due to their FinTech focus. With this deal, WebBank cardholders with American Express network cards will have access to additional benefits, such as Amex Offers. The rollout of new Amex network cards via FinTechs that WebBank works with is expected to begin later this year.
As noted, WebBank is one of several banks that’s found success in partnering with FinTech brands. Moreover, while debit cards have previously been popular products under these arrangements, WebBank has been at the forefront of helping to power unique and specialized credit card options. Currently, WebBank issues cards for the likes of Klarna, Petal, and Gemini among others. Both the Klarna Card and Petal’s slate of credit cards are Visas, while the Gemini Card operates on the Mastercard network.
News of the WebBank partnership also comes on the heels of American Express reaching a deal directly with another FinTech: Cardless. Last month, Amex not only revealed that future Cardless offerings would operate on the American Express network but also that the company had invested in the startup. At this time, Cardless’s offerings — including several sports fan options along with two LATAM Airlines cards — are issued by First Electronic Bank.
Commenting on the partnership, WebBank president and CEO Jason Lloyd remarked, “WebBank is pleased to have a strategic alliance with American Express that broadens the product offerings that we’re able to make available through our strategic partner platforms. It’s a great example of two industry leading organizations creating value for and through the broader FinTEch community.”
Meanwhile, Amex’s SVP and GM of Global Network Services in North America William Stredwick said of the deal, “Integrating WebBank into the American Express ecosystem is another step toward empowering FinTech to offer payment innovations on the Amex network. We look forward to working closely with WebBank to continue expanding the reach of the brand and bringing new benefits to FinTechs and consumers.”
While American Express has long allowed certain issuers to utilize their card payment network, the company has more famously been known for issuing its own products, including popular (and premium) cards such as the Platinum and Gold cards. Thus, this second recent expansion into the world of FinTech is notable. Then again, these moves are certainly beneficial in terms of Amex diversifying its revenue — while also growing its network, Considering that Amex is now nearly at parity with leaders Visa and Mastercard in the United States, perhaps these latest pushes will further help shrink the divide.