The company has had an impressive run since CEO Stephen Squeri took over from longtime AmEx chief Ken Chenault in 2018.
Squeri has boosted AmEx’s investment in technology and branched out into other areas like small business lending with the acquisition last year of fintech startup Kabbage, a small business technology company. AmEx launched a new Kabbage checking account for this market last month.
“Our good second quarter results show that the steps we have taken to run the business during the pandemic and our investment strategy to rebuild our growth momentum are paying off,” Squeri said in the earnings release. ‘company.
“There is a lot of competition. There is a lot of fintech. There are banks there,” Squeri said, noting that banks in particular are “aggressive”.
AmEx does a better job of reaching young clients
Executives noted that AmEx was also more successful in reaching younger consumers.
CFO Jeffrey Campbell said on the conference call that AmEx spent $ 1.3 billion on marketing expenses (including advertising) in the second quarter. The company plans to spend around $ 5 billion in total on marketing this year, Campbell said.
For example, a new AmEx ad this year shows a woman trying on jeans again after presumably wearing sweatpants while working from home for the past few months.
“We have seen cardholder spending accelerate from the previous quarter and surpass pre-pandemic levels in June, with most of that spending growth coming from millennial, millennial customers. Z and small businesses, ”Squeri said in the press release.
During the conference call, Squeri said younger consumers are going out more and starting to take vacations again, which also gives the business a boost.
“Travel and entertainment spending also picked up during the quarter, particularly in the United States, where a growing percentage of the population is now fully immunized,” he said.