Emerging Payments

Amex Broadens Twitter-Related Shopping Service

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American Express says it is working with Twitter to expand its cardholders' ability to shop over the social networking site.

Cardholders who sync their cards to Twitter will be able to buy Amex gift cards, as well as products from Amazon.com, Sony, Urban Zen and Microsoft’s Xbox 360, using special hash tags such as #BuyAmexGiftCard25, Amex said.

Twitter officials did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The offering would expand Amex’s Sync initiative, which previously allowed cardholders to get discounts on purchases when they embedded certain hash tags inside tweets.

And it would resemble a service offered by Chirpify, a startup that also uses Twitter to facilitate commerce. The alternative payment provider Dwolla also allows users to initiate transfers with Twitter hashtags.

It’s “the best form of flattery,” Chirpify's chief executive, Chris Teso, says about Amex's expanded service. Chirpify users have been syncing their Amex cards to the startup’s service for the past year, he says. The move “validates the space we’re in and what we’ve been doing,” he says.

Besides Chirpify, Dwolla and Amex, several other companies have attempted to use Twitter as a means to initiate payments. They have had mixed results.

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