Saturday, February 21, 2015

American Express Company

In 1850, Henry Wells (Wells & Company), William G. Fargo (Livingston, Fargo & Company), and John Warren Butterfield (Wells, Butterfield & Company) consolidated their delivery services into American Express Company, capitalized at $150,000.

Henry Wells and William Fargo, the president and company secretary respectively, created what was to become one of the country’s largest shipping and financial services firms.

Accordingly by 1862, the company had nearly 900 offices and more than 1,500 employees.

American Express extended its reach nationwide by arranging affiliation with other express companies, railroads and steamship companies.

In 1882, American Express started its expansion in the area of financial services by launching a money order business to compete with the United States Post Office’s money orders. As American began to travel overseas in ever growing numbers, American Express was there offering services throughout Europe and Asia.

The turn to credit cards in 1957 was a natural progression for American Express. The company had already been in the business for extending credit in the form of travelers checks and money order and has a national as well as an international network of offices.

By the 1980s, American Express was hailed as a ‘financial supermarket’ one of the strongest diversified financial companies in the world.
American Express Company

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