Through the American Express closed-loop network, which allows the company to directly connect merchants and cardmember spend, the American Express Smart Offer APIs enable merchants to easily and effectively measure the success of their location-based marketing efforts. They also allow merchants to offer tailored specials without investing time and money in training staff to decipher a coupon code or process a coupon-based offer — ensuring a positive redemption experience for cardmembers. In the coming weeks, American Express plans to launch an online tool for merchants to create couponless offers in social media networks in just a few clicks.
The cardmember user experience is also simplified:
1. Cardmembers visit the secure registration page on the American Express website: http://sync.americanexpress.com/foursquare.
2. Through this simple user interface, they link their card to their foursquare profile in order to discover exclusive American Express Specials at foursquare venues.
3. When they see a Special on foursquare they want to take advantage of, they check in to the merchant and simply “load” the special to their card.
4. After they spend at the merchant with their enrolled card, they receive a push notification stating they redeemed the Special and will receive an American Express statement credit in three to five days.
Six merchants including H&M and Sports Authority were named as initial deal providers of exclusive specials to cardmembers.