If you drew up a list of ways you thought you might be able to pay for products in the near future, paying with a Tweet might not have been there, but American Express and Twitter are making this happen.
Last year, Amex offered customers the chance to save cash by synching their American Express card with their Twitter account. Now they have extended that synch feature and introduced the first “pay-by-tweet” service. Cardholders can buy products by tweeting a purchase hashtag.
They then simply retweet the confirmation tweet from Amex within 15 minutes of receiving it. That’s all it takes. The product is then shipped to their billing address and the payment is taken from the customer’s Amex account.
The scheme is currently restricted to the US and a certain number of retailers and products. The offers available for the pay-by-hashtag service include Amazon Kindle Fire HD, Sony Action Cam & Waterproof Headband Mount, Urban Zen Bracelet Designed by Donna Karan, Xbox 360 4GB console and an Xbox Controller plus tax.
Leslie Berland, head of digital partnerships and development at Amex, said: “We’re turning a tweet into an actual transaction. For the first time, Twitter users will be able to respond to an offer from a merchant and make a purchase without leaving the Twitter site.”
Amex is one of the few organisations so far to experiment with social commerce on Twitter.
If the nascent service is expanded, it could open up Twitter to a flow of others experimenting with payment by Tweet, which potentially offers a quick and convenient way to buy.
Twitter, while not benefitting directly from the Amex deal, could find advertisers using the microblogging network to push deals.
Those worried about potential fraud, following the recent Twitter hack of 250,000 passwords, shouldn’t be, as Amex says that no payment or billing data is shared. This all stays with American Express.
David Wolf, vice-president of global product and biz-dev at AmEx, said: “Our merchants want the ability to better track conversations – and to see whether these conversations on Twitter are resulting in better business. Just tweeting a hashtag literally turns that tweet into a transaction.”
Joel Lunenfeld, vice-president of global brand strategy at Twitter, said: “You can turn a hashtag into more than just a conversation – you can turn it into a trigger that actually can spark commerce,”