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Bank of America, Citibank to Offer American Express Credit Cards

by Peter Andrew

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Bank

of America, Citibank to Offer American Express Credit Cards

American Express is lengthening its reach as a credit card payment

network, striking deals with both Bank of America and Citibank

to have the issuers offer American Express-branded credit cards.

Citibank will offer many of its basic card offerings as American

Express cards beginning in January, while Bank of America will

offer American Express cards later in 2006. MBNA, which Bank

of America is in the process of acquiring, is already offering

American Express cards and will continue to do so.

American

Express became a payment processing network in competition with

Visa and MasterCard after Department of Justice litigation resulted

in American Express and Discover gaining access to the network

of banks with which Visa and MasterCard had previously had exclusivity.

In

effect, American Express is now a direct issuer of credit cards

as well as a payment network on the same level with Visa and

MasterCard. (Discover has also become a competitor in this same

area.) Whether issuing banks will balk at having American Express

as both competitor and partner in the future remains to be seen.

In addition, Visa and MasterCard do not directly issue credit

cards, but run the payment networks that their association banks

use to process payments. Whether they will push to begin offering

credit cards directly is also a question that is certain to

be raised.

 

Published 12/21/05 (Modified 11/26/12)


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