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NEW YORK -- American Express Serve is prepping a free, nationwide cash load network and the addition of new money management capabilities to its full-service reloadable prepaid account. The new features will roll out at several retail locations, including 7-Eleven Inc. stores.
According to American Express Serve, customers will be able to take cash to the register at more than 14,000 participating 7-Eleven convenience stores and CVS locations and add it to their American Express Serve account. This is made possible through a relationship with InComm and its Vanilla Reload Network.
The new features include: direct deposit, bill pay, mobile check capture, personal financial management tools and reserve, which allows customers to put money aside for future expenses.
"Unfortunately, the traditional banking system is not easily accessible to large segments of the population, making managing money cumbersome and expensive for many," said Dan Schulman, group president, Enterprise Growth at American Express. "We launched Serve two years ago with the simple idea that consumers needed a better way to move their money. Today, we've added a number of new features to make the management and movement of money more affordable and convenient for everyone."
In addition to the free cash load network, American Express Serve's cost-free options include:
- Direct deposit: Serve customers can add their paycheck or government disbursements directly into their account through Serve.com.
- Mobile check capture: Later this year, customers will be able to use their smartphone camera to snap a photo of a check and add it directly into their account using the Serve mobile app.
Considering that prepaid card customers who report reloading their cards say they do so an average of two times per month, with 10 percent reloading five times or more per month, adding money to Serve using these options could amount to a potential savings of between $72 to nearly $240 a year for certain customers, according to the company.
With the rollout of a range of features that offer an alternative to traditional banking, American Express Serve will charge a monthly fee of $1 beginning Dec. 3. According to the company, this fee is one of the lowest among leading prepaid cards that charge a monthly fee. Based on an Aite Group study that evaluated the amount that people pay in fees among the leading prepaid cards, the average monthly fee was $4.57 per month.
The $1 monthly fee is waived if customers use direct deposit to load their account or add $500 or more to their account during a monthly statement period, according to American Express Serve.
American Express Serve is a full-service reloadable prepaid access account issued by American Express Travel Related Services Co. Inc.