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American Express and Extend announce US virtual card partnership

American Express and New York-based fintech Extend announced a partnership today to expand virtual card solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), according to a press release.

The partnership will allow all US companies with eligible American Express (Amex) business cards to enroll and create virtual cards, known as tokens, through Extend’s application and desktop login with their current American Express accounts.

The virtual cards offer a large number of benefits to customers, according to American Express, including quicker onboarding, flexible ease-of-use, spending controls, streamlined expense reporting, card rewards, automated card issuing, enhanced security and reduced fraud.

“With today’s announcement, our Business Cards can work even harder for our Card Members through this quick and easy virtual Card option. This gives our Card Members enhanced flexibility and control across their day-to-day business spending, including for B2B purchases and enabling their employees to pay for expenses,” American Express EVP of Global Commercial Services Dean Henry stated in the release.

“We have seen more and more businesses ramp up their use of virtual Cards since the start of the pandemic as they looked to digitize their payments processes and increase their use of touchless payments,” he said.

Founded in early 2017 by Andrew Jamison, Danny Morrow and Guillaume Bouvard, Extend is a digital-only card platform which modernizes payments and is compatible with all commercial cards. The company has raised $14 million to date, including a $3 million seed round led by Point72 Ventures in 2018 and a $11 million Series A co-led by Point72 and FinTech Collective in 2019.

The two companies plan to offer additional features in the future, with intent to enable virtual cards mobile wallet integrations for in-store purchases. Amex says that 39% of US businesses surveyed expect their virtual card usage to increase over the next year, according to the company’s Global Business Spend Indicator.

“Virtual Cards can help solve timely needs for many businesses, from finding a reliable and enhanced way to control expenses to automating payment processes or capturing enriched data,” Extend CEO Andrew Jamison stated in the release.

“This market is rapidly growing as businesses realize just how versatile and effective virtual Cards can be—whether it’s managing subscription payments, equipping employees with secure company cards, or developing custom payment solutions with our APIs.”

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