American Express recently gave $19 million to mobile payment firm Payfone in an effort to expand its existing Serve platform, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. In doing so, it will potentially allow consumers who have credit card debt or prepaid cards from American Express to link those accounts to their mobile phone numbers.
The lender hopes that this expansion will entice new consumers to begin opening accounts with the lender, as it is expected that using mobile phones to deal with credit card debt will be increasingly popular with younger early adopters, the report said. In allowing prepaid cards to be linked as well, the technology can also be utilized by the underbanked.
It is expected that use of mobile phones to deal with credit card debt will become more prevalent in the near future, and the industry could be worth as much as $44 billion annually by 2015.