Here’s Why AmEx is Apple’s Newest Buddy

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Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Passbook has received a new partner in American Express (NYSE:AXP), though the bank is not facilitating smartphone-based payments just yet. Instead, the app will provide real-time details of recent American Express transactions, current balance, and other customer service information.

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By providing real-time transaction data, the bank hopes to lower cases of fraud as well as bring down false positives in fraud alerts. While the real-time notification capability allows American Express to start a new avenue for two-way dialogue with consumers, it may also eventually lead to the bank being able to show offers from nearby merchants based on location.

“We’ve essentially re-imagined what’s possible for the newly launched Apple iOS6 Passbook technology — taking it beyond just mobile ticketing, coupons, and loyalty cards,” American Express spokesman Brad Minor told VentureBeat. “This is an entirely new use-case for Pass that makes it useful every day, and not just for specific occasions.”

American Express could eventually offer one way of facilitating phone-based payments: through real-time redemption of its membership rewards points, which would basically give a user the option to pay for a transaction with points instead of cash.

Passbook, which was launched by Apple as a part of its new mobile operating system, iOS 6, is an app that manages boarding passes, movie tickets, discount coupons, loyalty cards, and other such data. Tickets can also be programmed to pop up on the screen based on the phone’s location.

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