When it comes to convenience, credit card companies seem remarkably ahead of the game. Maybe it has something to do with trying to get us to spend more of our money more quickly. Regardless of motivation, the latest innovation to come out of fintech is a new Amex bot for Facebook Messenger that lets consumers see real-time purchase alerts and key information about American Express benefits. The bot officially launched Friday, as per a post from Messenger.
While American Express was cagey on details of the bot rollout when it was first announced back in June, it’s now clear that the new feature is capable of telling customers when there’s activity on their Amex card, and providing information about previous purchases.
Restaurant recommendations and loyalty program messages can also be received via the Amex bot. As the credit card giant notes on its FAQ page, “If you purchase airline tickets, we may send you a message reflecting the purchase of the tickets and then, before you leave for your trip, we may also offer you the option to receive dining recommendations at your destination.”
But don’t expect Amex’s bot to be too friendly or chatty. While other web- or mobile-based travel assistants are looking to emulate human conversation (as with Hello Hipmunk), Amex’s bot is a bit more, well, robotic. Amex’s Facebook Messenger integration looks to only ask customers yes-or-no questions, and will let users click buttons rather than use natural language.
“As a long-time partner of Facebook, we’re thrilled to be working together to create an innovative experience for our card members on Messenger,” said Dave Wolf, vice president of Digital Partnerships & Development for American Express. “We know our card members appreciate the convenience of receiving information from Amex on digital platforms where they’re already spending time. The concept demoed today shows how we could help them stay on top of their purchases and take advantage of their card benefits. The scale and flexibility of the Messenger platform makes it a powerful channel for us to explore new ways to connect with card members.”
David Marcus, who serves as Facebook’s vice president of Messaging Products, echoed these sentiments. “We’re delighted to welcome American Express to the growing group of businesses and brands exploring bots for Messenger and creating concepts that show how they can enable their customers to experience seamless communication in Messenger threads,” he said. “We believe that people will value the ease and convenience of being able to view their purchases and key benefits associated with them, and we look forward to sharing how American Express is bringing this innovative new experience to life.”
Originally published on 6-24-16.
Updated on 9-10-2016: Added report that the American Express Facebook Messenger bot is now live.