American Express Buys Revolution Money, Secure Credit Card Payment Platform

American Express made a large bet on the future of payment processing with its purchase of Revolution Money. American Express Chairman and CEO Kenneth Chenault told reporters that the acquisition allows both companies to grow beyond their current strengths. "New payments products and platforms are evolving rapidly and it's important for us to keep identifying cutting edge technologies that can extend our leadership beyond the traditional payments arena," said Chenault.

Revolution Money, launched by former AOL and MBNA executives, has attracted customers who demand higher security credit card options. The RevolutionCard carries no personally identifiable customer information and requires a four digit PIN for transactions, much like secure credit card products that have become popular in Europe. Meanwhile, the company's proprietary payment processing platform has attracted merchants who prefer less expensive interchange fees.

Because American Express charges transaction fees higher than the industry average, credit card analysts see the acquisition as an opportunity for American Express to offer a lower-cost, higher security payment option for frugal merchants. Likewise, RevolutionCard offerings backed by American Express can reach wider audiences, compelling more merchants to accept the card.