American Express Company is also known as AmEx, is an American multinational financial
services corporation headquartered in Three World Financial Center, Manhattan, New York
City, New York, United States. Founded in 1850, it is one of the 30 components of the Dow
Jones Industrial Average. The company is best known for its credit card, charge card,
and travelers cheque businesses. Amex cards account for approximately 24% of the total
dollar volume of credit card transactions in the US. BusinessWeek and Interbrand ranked
American Express as the 22nd most valuable brand in the world, estimating the brand to be
worth S$14.97 billion. Fortune listed Amex as one of the top 20 Most Admired Companies in
the World. The company's logo, adopted in 1958, is a Roman gladiator whose image appears
on the company's travelers' cheques and charge cards.
American Express was started as an express mail business in Buffalo, New York, in 1850. It
was founded as a joint stock corporation by the merger of the express companies owned
by Henry Wells (Wells & Company), William G. Fargo (Livingston, Fargo & Company), and
John Warren Butterfield (Wells, Butterfield & Company, the successor earlier in 1850 of
Butterfield, Wasson & Company). The same founders also started Wells Fargo & Co. in 1852
when Butterfield and other directors objected to the proposal that American Express extend
its operations to California.
American Express first established its headquarters in a building at
the intersection of Jay Street and Hudson Street in what was later called the Tribeca section
of Manhattan. For years it enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the movement of express shipments
(goods, securities, currency, etc.) throughout New York State. In 1874, American Express
moved its headquarters to 65 Broadway in what was becoming the Financial District of
Manhattan, a location it was to retain through two buildings.
In 1882, American Express started its expansion in the area of financial services by launching
a money order business to compete with the United States Post Office's money orders.
Sometime between 1888 and 1890, J. C. Fargo took a trip to Europe and returned frustrated
and infuriated. Despite the fact that he was president of American Express and that he carried
with him traditional letters of credit, he found it difficult to obtain cash anywhere except in
major cities. Fargo went to Marcellus Flemming Berry and asked him to create a better
solution than the traditional letter of credit. Berry introduced the American
Express Travellers Cheque which was launched in 1891 in denominations of $10, $20, $50,
Traveller’s cheques established American Express as a truly international company.
In 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, American Express offices in Europe were among the
few companies to honor the letters of credit (issued by various banks) held by Americans in
Europe, despite other financial institutions having refused to assist these stranded travellers.
In this project we did a hardcore field work and after many tries lucky we were able to get in
Meet with American Express Manager at Gurgaon. We had interviewed him and through
interview we did and cover our STP. The complete interview is mentioned below :Ques:- What are the main products that Amex sells ?
Ans: Credit cards, gift cards and other products as per you knowledge.
Ques:- Which is the sector that Amex belongs to?
Ans: Mainly service sector on a whole and is a customer centric organisation and how do the
treat there customers(as per your knowledge)
Ques:- Which method do you use while marketing you products(Qualitative or Quantitative)?
Ans :- Qualitative method-alliterative Methods
• ( buyers & Salespersons)
•( Opinion of Panel of experts in the industry)
Quantitative method:•Time Series Analysis
•Exponential Smoothing and Market Build up
Ques:- On what basis do you segment your customers and target them and also how do you
position your product?
Ans: Niche marketing: we target the customer of only elite class in India and abroad
Positioning:- we position our product as a very high end superior product and thus position it
with a very famous tag line which is today embedded into the minds of the customer "Amex
is very choosy to choose its customers"
Segmenting:- boss kindly ask any of the marketing manager whom you would tell you
Ques:- How do you create Customer life time value?
Ans :- here you need to tell all the processes like rewards given to the customers and other
processes “like member ship rewards processes etc. which make the customer cling to Amex
services for a very long period of time.
Ques:- What is the level of customer involvement?
Ans:- very high involvement of customers as we choose Central route of endorsing our
products in the market.
Ques:- How do you take the feedback from the customers and how frequently are you
engaged in this practice?
Ans:- need to ask a marketing manager for this please
4. Ques:- Do you think there are still some opportunities in the market ? If yes, then how do you
plan to grab them?
Ans:- need to ask a marketing manager for this please
Ques:- Which marketing strategy do you follow?(Skimming or penetration)
Ans:- Skimming that is first selling at high price and then at low prices after the brand has
made a hold in the market
Penetration: first introducing the product at low price in the market and then once it has made
its hold in the market can sell the products at high price
Amex is one of the ten largest financial services companies in the world and is the largest provider of
travel services globally.
The company’s spend-centric credit cards business is a key strength for Amex. This business model is
further strengthened by the company’s global presence and strong brand image. However, the
dynamic regulatory landscape that the company is currently encountering could increase compliance
costs for Amex.
Strong brand name and good financial position.
Globally acclaimed and recognized.
Safest mode of spending while travelling.
Easy to use and its best known for its credit card, charge card and travelers cheque business.
Has over 60,000 employees
Loyalty programs for customers
1. Decline in Travelers cheque usage.
2. Lacking in debit card services at the point-of-sale.
3. High interest coverage ratio increasing the company’s risk profile
1. Expansion in other countries.
2. Diversifying portfolios for customers.
3. Innovative schemes for easier usage.
1. Changing government regulations and financial crisis like recession.
2. Uncertainty in interchange fee.
3. Fierce competition with other companies.
5. PESTAL Analysis
Political Forces :- American Express in May 2010 expanded to North Carolina, due to the
lower tax rates offered by the state government. The state is looking for employment growth
as well as productive economic activity.
Economic Forces :- Due to the weak economic conditions in the U.S. in 2008, the credit
market froze causing high credit losses for financial service providers.
The economy is still in its recovery stage at a slow pace producing a massive amount of
uncertainty for the future. Consumers are leaned towards saving more money than borrowing.
In 2009, due to the economic slump in the credit card industry, American Express announced
cutting down of seven thousand managerial level jobs to slash costs of $1.8 billion.
Consumers that have been previously struggling to pay off big debts in 2009 are now paying
off their old debts.
By the third quarter of 2010 consumer spending has increased pushing sales through large
transaction volumes for American Express cards though lending volumes are still down as
consumers are reluctant to borrow more money.
Seasonal fluctuations greatly affect sales which are evident through higher travel sales are in
the second and fourth quarter and Gift Card sales during November and December.
Social Forces :-Urban consumers, like rural ones, are looking for more personalized,
localized and community-tailored relationships with sellers as they yearn for more
sustainable rather than cheap products. This implies that the future is of small and selfsufficient vendors and community shops that are tailored to the requirements of the local
According to a consumer research conducted in the U.S. in 2009, 26% of the Americans are
looking for creative elements in brands they purchase, 16% expect creativity in the retail
environment and 23% seek customization in which their own contributions and ideas are
given importance in product design.
Technological Forces :- The birth of online social networking websites has created a new
trend of shopping in groups and communities where selling through online social channels
has become an effective medium. According to a survey of U.S consumers, 41% of
consumers have adopted online shopping through influence of their online social groups.
Interaction with consumers through mobile devices and websites has allowed companies to
identify a new means of offering services and developing loyalty schemes with ‘on the go’
consumers based on locations facilitated through the GPS applications available in smart
Environmental Forces :- With the rise in concerns towards social responsibility by
companies, organizations and individuals, consumers are seeking products and survives that
allow them to fulfill their requirements at the same time portray a responsible behavior
towards the society, thus, they are seeking companies that are also associated with
6. Legal Forces :- U.S Justice Department has accused credit card companies of charging anticompetitive prices with higher fees charged on services. Investors are now eager to find out
how the credit card companies will adapt to the new restrictions.
During our field work we met few American Express Employs and customer and finally our
team sit together and put up our analysis the data. So as a team we made an analysis that this
company is a customer centric organization, engaged in niche marketing, USB is the
personalized services provided to the customer, it is a top rated companies amongst the credit
card service providing companies and customer delight is the heart of the company.