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American Express Reach Increases as Global Partnerships Grow

Photo: Courtesy of American Express
Photo: Courtesy of American Express

At American Express, we often say “don’t live life without it” – and we mean it. Whether you’re going down the street, across the country, or around the world, our global network partners allow us to meet our customers wherever they are.

“Our partners help us expand the American Express brand to consumers and businesses all over the world,” said Raymond Joabar, Group President, Global Merchant and Network Services. “They set businesses up to accept Amex on our behalf, and issue cards on our network in places where we may not otherwise have a presence. This is allowing us to add merchants and Card members to the network at an even faster pace.”

Global Amex acceptance now covers more than 80 million locations, tripling the international locations accepting Amex since 2017, in part with network partners in Israel, South Africa, South Korea and Brazil, among others.

Global Network Partners Come Together to Continue International Acceptance

We hosted a gathering of many of our global network partners in New York to share insights with our senior leaders, find new partnership opportunities and grow our joint business. It also was an opportunity for these global partners to engage with each other. 

“By bringing our network partners together, we had the opportunity to reinforce how they help make the American Express network even more vibrant in countries around the world,” said Mohammed Badi, President, Global Network Services. “Our network partners drive greater spend on our network and expand the powerful backing of American Express globally.”

Almost 50 Years of Partnership

In the 1970s, American Express rolled out our first international card partnerships with banks in Venezuela, Croatia, and South Africa. We officially launched the Global Network Services (GNS) business in 1997, and as we’ve grown this business, our bank partners have helped us expand our network into over 198 countries and territories around the world.

“We’ve partnered with American Express for almost 50 years now, and we are the longest continued business partner of the Network,” said Ciko Thomas, Group Managing Executive for Retail and Business Banking at NedBank in South Africa. “The payment space in South Africa is dynamic with high levels of competition and advanced full spectrum payment offerings for both consumers and businesses. It’s fantastic to have that capability to stand out in the South African marketplace, thanks to what American Express offers us. There has always been a synergy between what the NedBank and American Express brand stands for.”

Our partners play many roles in helping us grow our brand. Nedbank was our South African partner for ‘The Artist Series’, a collection of custom signage for Amex merchants to proudly display in stores, on their websites, and through social media. Check out the entire 2023 series here.

Isracard has also been a GNS partner from (almost) Day 1. As the largest acquirer and issuer in Israel, CEO Ran Oz said, “This 30-year partnership has helped position us as the premium card in the market, allowing us to leverage our offerings to our target customers and merchants.”

Bradesco Bank in Brazil is another long-standing network relationship: “Our relationship with Amex began in 2006, and every year it becomes stronger. Amex is helping us strengthen our brand which in turn is attracting clients and business from all over Brazil,” said Jose Ramos Rocha Neto, Executive Vice President, Bradesco.

Network Expansion

As consumers shift the way they pay, American Express and its partners know that digital payments are a priority. “Amex is really on the pulse when it comes to consumer trends. Take the evolution of digital payments for example, Amex is constantly adopting to fit these needs. Therefore, the value and company brand it brings to South Korea is phenomenal. We’ve been working with Amex since 2021, and look forward to our continued partnership,” said David Kim, CEO of Hyundai Card in Seoul, South Korea.

To learn more about the American Express network, visit here.

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