Amex Launches Pay-By-Hashtag Over Twitter

American Express today launches a new payment system that allows its cardholders to buy select items merely by Tweeting with a designated hashtag. Using its established Amex Sync platform that connects a member’s credit card to a range of digital payment activation methods, users will be able to purchase Amex gift cards as well as products from Amazon, Sony, Urban Zen and Xbox 360.

Previously, Amex had used Twitter hashtags to send discounts directly to member cards to apply at point of sale. But under this model, for instance, a user will Tweet #BuyAmexGiftCard25 and for a limited time get a $25 gift card for $15 starting today. The larger catalog of available offers will open up tomorrow, Feb. 13.

Members first sync their credit card with their Twitter account and then Tweet the relevant hashtag for a particular offer. Amex then tweets back to them a direct message from @AmexSync that includes a confirmation hashtag that when tweeted by the customer activates the purchase within 15 minutes. Items are then shipped to the buyer.

Initial product offers include an Amazon Kindle HD for $150 and an Xbox 360 4GB console for $180.

Amex has been among the more aggressive credit card companies in experimenting with new payment and discounting methods that can be activated over mobile phones. It has a longstanding partnership with social mobile app foursquare that ties a member card to the mobile account to apply special offers and deals directly to an Amex card. The company has also been investing and experimenting with a range of payment approaches worldwide. 

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