Santiago Fernández
President and CEO
American Express Mexico
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View from the Top

AMEX: Always Digital, Always Evolving

By Sofía Hanna | Mon, 06/27/2022 - 10:42

Q: How has American Express innovated its services to stay ahead of the market?

A: American Express has been in Mexico for over 170 years and we have always been, within the financial sector, a hybrid player. The technological disruption has helped our corporate cycle become flexible, innovative and willing to change. In addition, it allowed us to position ourselves at the forefront of technology, continuously incorporating digital functionalities into our products and services. Technology has evolved so significantly that now is a core asset embedded in the value proposition.

 

American Express is a world-class servicing customer-focused organization with a wide variety of contact channels, from its top-ranked app and phone services provided by Amex professionals to its worldwide recognized Centurion Lounges in airports around the globe. By combining our customer-centric approach with technology, we have been able to be at the forefront of supply issues, providing unprecedented levels of customer engagement.

 

We are aware that the financial business environment is evolving with the inclusion of new players such as fintech companies. This phenomenon opened us the door to explore and develop new partnerships while we keep improving and leading the digital experience. The degree of change and innovation is such that rethinking and adjusting strategies lead all of us to switch from traditional year-over-year business planning to develop an ongoing monitoring allowing us to adjust strategies as needed and to manage current challenges and business ambiguity. There is no room to keep planning our business just once a year, that is just not enough anymore.

 

Q: What does American Express understand by “leadership” and how is it shaping its offering accordingly?

A: Our leadership philosophy follows three fundamental components. First, to put customers at the center through a great ability to listen, interpret and anticipate the changing needs of different customers in their corresponding sectors, delivering an outstanding and beyond expectations value proposition based on innovation. Second, we are committed to backing our colleagues, providing them the best work experience based on our culture of inclusion and diversity, and last but not least, we support our communities by contributing to the sustainable development of vulnerable communities, such as women, LGBT+ community, people living with disabilities, ethnicities, children and senior populations.

 

Q: What are the main financial trends shaping the financial sector and how is American Express adapting to these trends?

A: American Express’ business model has been evolving over the years thanks to our rapid integration of technology and digital experiences. Most recently, the pandemic originated a trend about placing more importance on work-life balance, technology consumption, health and well-being, leading us to transform our value proposition to meet new consumer trends.  

 

At American Express, we have invested heavily in deepening and personalizing the entire digital experience, from our app to internet access. Our entire cycle is digitalized and our onboarding process is digital, which is increasingly relevant for the new generations whose spending behavior targets immediate satisfaction and living in the now. Currently, more than 90 percent of our card members benefit from our digital services while we welcome 90% of our new clients through digital acquisition processes.

 

Q: Where is Mexico now in terms of digitization of banking services? What are the main areas of opportunity to improve?

A: Digital banking is already real and we are pleased to see the growing penetration of digital services. The keywords are inclusion and scope. As the country’s digital infrastructure continues to develop, adoption will increase. This is irreversible progress; users will grow accustomed to having everything within reach and will be unwilling to go back. Technology will undoubtedly keep playing a key role in our industry.

 

Q: How will the relationship between banks and fintechs improve the Mexican economy?

As I stated before, the inclusion of new players in the financial industry is key to its accelerated evolution and opened areas of collaboration, from fraud prevention to evolved credit models and enhanced user experiences.

 

 

Q: What can we expect from American Express in 2022? 

A: We are focused on strengthening our digital experience to improve people’s lives and we have made great strides to become an excellent choice for the new generations. The sector will continue to innovate, allowing us to offer a more customizable and sophisticated digital ecosystem, payment solutions, consumer finance products and support for SMEs. 

 

American Express is a financial institution based in New York with 1,700 offices in more than 130 countries around the world.

Sofía Hanna Sofía Hanna Journalist and Industry Analyst