Starting in July 2004, American Express (New York, $175 billion in assets) and Deutsche Bank (Frankfurt, 878 billion euros in assets) will offer a co-branded American Express corporate card to Deutsche Bank's corporate customers with a presence in Germany.
American Express did not have to revamp its existing systems in order to manage the Deutsche Bank partnership. "In terms of our underwriting systems that provide the expense management solutions, they will be identical to the American Express proprietary products," says Jean-Luc Durant, VP and Head of Network Development Commercial Card, Europe, American Express.
Indeed, the deal resembles a January 2003 partnership with TD Bank Financial Group (Toronto). "It's a very similar deal," says Durant. "It really fits into our overall strategy of developing partnerships with like-minded organizations to distribute our corporate card products, or issue jointly branded products, as part of our overall growth strategy in corporate."
As part of the distribution partnership, American Express will also provide Deutsche Bank's corporate customers with services for travel and expense management, such as its business traveler account products and other accompanying services and benefits. "It really fits well into the overall service portfolio that Deutsche Bank brings to their corporate customers," says Durant. "Now, they will also be able to bring them an end-to-end expense management solution."
The American Express solution will be marketed not only to large German companies, but also to non-German companies with a significant presence in Germany. The target company has an annual T&E (Travel & Expense) spending rate of 100,000 euros and above, which includes the small- and medium-size enterprises in "der Mittelstaendische," Germany's middle-market segment.