American Express Co. is paying businesses that did not previously allow its cards to be used, in the form of bonuses, to accept its cards, according to The Wall Street Journal.
American Express is hoping that these bonuses will allow it to catch up to its competition from Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. The payments range from $10,000 to $450,000.
American Express has long been known for targeting wealthier customers rather than a larger share of the market, but now it is attempting to expand its reach. In 2018, Visa and Mastercard were accepted at 1.3 million more U.S. locations than American Express.
Investors have been pressing the company to increase its market share and availability. AmEx “made a business decision to provide targeted sign-on incentives to strategic, priority holdout merchants, which comprise a tiny fraction of a percent of the merchants we acquire in a year,” said Anré Williams, head of American Express’s global merchant an network services.
American Express is attempting to catch up to its rivals Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. by paying businesses to allow its credit card to be used.