Cross River to Issue Cards American Express Cards for FinTechs

For years, American Express has been known for issuing its own credit and charge cards — including some premium options. However, while the company has previously worked with other issuers from time to time, these efforts have accelerated as of late. Now, another such agreement has been reached. Recently, Cross River announced a partnership with Amex to begin issuing cards on behalf of FinTechs that operate on the American Express network.

Founded in 2008, Cross River is now one of the top banks that partner with FinTechs. In fact, the bank has raised venture capital for these endeavors, closing a $620 million Series D earlier this year. As for credit cards, Cross River is behind the Upgrade card — which is one of the fastest-growing cards in the market according to a Nielson Report. Currently, Upgrade’s line-up of cards operate on the Visa payment network.

Commenting on the partnership with Amex, Cross River’s founder, president, and CEO Gilles Gade said, “Collaborating with American Express enables Cross River to provide additional optionality for our partners and their consumer. Our expanded payments and technology infrastructure increases efficiency and the scalability that our partners have come to expect.”

Additionally, Amex’s SVP and GM of Global Network Services North America William Stredwick stated, “With Cross River, we can offer more ways for FinTechs to launch payment solutions on the American Express network. We selected Cross River for their full suite of products and services, and we look forward to working with them to help FinTechs innovate on our network.”

This partnership with Cross River comes as American Express has inked a number of similar deals with other FinTech-focused companies. In August, Amex announced a deal with WebBank, which already issues (non-Amex) cards for Klarna, Petal, Gemini, and others. Prior to that, Cardless also revealed plans to issue cards that run on the American Express network. The first of those cards seem to be on the horizon with the upcoming Simon co-brand card.

If it weren’t already clear that American Express sees value in growing its payment network via FinTechs, this latest partnership with Cross River really drives home that premise. Of course, despite still being a massive entity in its own right, Amex still has a lot of catching up to do given the size of Mastercard and Visa. With the fruits of these partnerships still in the works, it will be interesting to see what types of cards end up bearing the American Express logo as these startups begin issuing their new offerings.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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