Latest Videos

{{ currentStream.Name }}

Related Video

Continuous Play:
ON OFF

The information you requested is not available at this time, please check back again soon.

More Video

Jan 24, 2020

You can now use your AmEx at as many places as Visa, Mastercard

Christine Poole discusses American Express

VIDEO SIGN OUT

Security Not Found

The stock symbol {{StockChart.Ric}} does not exist

See Full Stock Page »

Visa promises it’s “everywhere you want to be.” In the U.S., at least, American Express can now say the same.

After years of trying to persuade more of America’s 30 million small businesses to accept its cards as payment, AmEx in 2019 reached “virtual parity” coverage with Visa and Mastercard in the U.S., American Express Co. Chief Executive Officer Steve Squeri said Friday.

The company added 1 million of its branded decals to U.S. storefronts last year alone, Squeri told analysts on a conference call.

Shares of the company surged 4.5 per cent, the biggest intraday gain in more than a year, to a record US$137.25 in New York trading at 9:33 a.m. The company earlier Friday gave a 2020 profit forecast that was higher than many analysts’ estimates.

“After signing millions of merchants in recent years, we’re there,” Chief Financial Officer Jeff Campbell said in a telephone interview. “Our challenge now, which will take some time to change, is perception will lag reality.”

The goal for parity with Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. in the U.S. was a vestige of a push started by former AmEx CEO Ken Chenault. He oversaw the creation of the OptBlue program, which seeks to increase acceptance of AmEx by enticing small businesses with lower costs.

The push has weighed on AmEx’s discount rate -- a measure of the fees the company charges merchants. Last year, the discount rate was 2.37 per cent, compared with 2.48 per cent five years earlier.