This Millionaire Honestly Thinks Apple and Facebook Are About to Change Everything

The American Express CEO recently revealed that he, like other CEOs, understands change is coming from Apple and Facebook in the payment industry.

Jun 1, 2014 at 10:42AM

By Sean Macentee
Source:  Flickr / Sean MacEntee.

Surprisingly, one credit card CEO honestly thinks Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) are going to revolutionize his industry. Yet he can sleep well knowing his firm will benefit no matter how things change.

Surprising remarks
Much has been made about the possibility of Apple, Facebook, and other technology firms diving into the payments landscape. And it turns out that the CEO of American Express (NYSE:AXP) is one more executive who believes the question isn't if, but when.

At the recent Mobile-First Summit in New York, Jessi Hempel of Fortune Magazine interviewed Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express. Their conversation focused on the future of the payments industry as the shift to mobile payments quickens.

One of the most fascinating insights came when Chenault said:

What's happening is a gigantic opportunity. Mobile will redefine how commerce is done. Steve Jobs redefined the retail experience. I think commerce and mobile will do an even more transformational job in an exponential way. The opportunity for start-ups to redefine the power of mobile is incredible... Clearly there are five platforms that will play an important role and be very powerful: Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Alibaba.

This follows the remarks from Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase earlier this month when he said that, while his bank operates "one of the largest payments systems in the world," it is "going to have competition from Google and Facebook and somebody else."

Jun Seita

Source: Flickr / Jun Seita.

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, recently revealed that his company has 800 million iTunes users, nearly all of whom have credit cards on file. 

And although he didn't speak to the possibility of Apple expanding into mobile payments on the latest conference call, in January, Cook said: "The mobile payments area in general is one that we've been intrigued with... I don't have anything specific to announce today, but... it's a big opportunity on the platform." 

Some of the most powerful executives across a variety of industries are saying the payments industry is poised for disruption.

Americanexpressonline

Source: Flickr / AMERICANEXPRESSONLINE.

What it means to American Express
Realizing change is coming as a result of "fundamental change," the natural question becomes, what does all this mean for American Express?

American Express operates in a unique position in the payments industry. Unlike Visa and MasterCard, American Express generates revenue not simply from fees charged to merchants -- known as "discount revenue" -- but it's also the provider of the credit cards themselves. It collects interest and fees from consumers -- who love their AmEx cards -- as well.

As a result, it operates a "closed-loop network," which means that, when an American Express card is swiped, instead of the data going through a variety of different channels, it all remains in the secure hands of American Express. This allows it to provide not only greater security, but also a more seamless flow of data.

Since it's operates a closed-loop system, it's possible American Express could be positioned to have the greatest risk as the payments model shifts to be more mobile phone oriented and new entrants emerge. But I'd take the opposite position. With a new major data breech being reported practically every month, both customers and merchants will both applaud and desire a payments network that can provide safety and security. And American Express does just that.

And when you combine enhanced security with strong customer loyalty, even if fundamental change occurs, American Express has positioned itself to continue to thrive.

Fortune began by noting, "Ken Chenault plans to insure that American Express remains in the center of every transaction." With such a compelling business model, one has to think that, no matter how the payment industry evolves, Chenault will be absolutely right.

Understanding the one company who will make a fortune
There is no denying change is coming to the payments industry, as Chenault and countless others understand. And when it does, a handful of investors could stand to get very rich. You can join them -- but you must act now. An eye-opening new presentation reveals the full story on why your credit card is about to be worthless -- and highlights one little-known company sitting at the epicenter of an earth-shaking movement that could hand early investors the kind of profits we haven't seen since the dot-com days. Click here to watch this stunning video.

Patrick Morris owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends American Express, Apple, and Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers