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American Express Serves Up P2P "Pay Me Back" on Ticketmaster

image It’s a problem as old as money itself. The person making a purchase on behalf of a group inevitably gets stuck with a larger share as others “forget” to pay him/her back (note 1).

Two weeks ago, American Express launched a clever product tie-in on TicketMaster to help change that. After making a purchase, a prominently placed box suggests using Serve to “Get Paid Back.” Buyers are encouraged to use Serve to send money requests to friends for their share of the tickets. Given how social ticket purchasing is, it’s a great place to introduce P2P.

But there’s still the not-so-small problem of getting everyone signed up. Both sender and recipient must have Serve accounts. And while all transaction are currently free, the FAQs warn that coming Jan 1, there will be a fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction funded via credit card. Checking account (ACH)-based transactions will remain free.

To beat PayPal at this game, the service needs more than just well-placed ads. For example, integration directly into the Ticketmaster shopping cart, where buyers could enter friends’ email addresses to automatically “charge” them their share (subject to their approval of course).


Product placement after purchasing on Ticketmaster (11 Nov 2011)


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Note: We covered P2P payments two years ago in our Online Banking Report (subscription).