American Express last week added Apple Pay support to its U.S. corporate cards, so business travelers can now take advantage of the security safeguards built into Apple's contactless payment system while they're on the road.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
As soon as Apple’s mobile payment service, Apple Pay, launched last October, I tried to add all of my credit cards to the mobile wallet so I could test it out. Just as quickly, I was disappointed to learn that though American Express supported Apple Pay for some of its consumer credit cards, it did not work with AmEx Corporate Cards.
AmEx Corporate Cards are among the most widely issued corporate credit cards in America, and as such, lots of iPhone and Apple Watch users have not been able to take advantage of Apple Pay’s payment security safeguards while they’re on the road. Apple Pay adds a security layer because it “tokenizes” payment information, so the card digits aren’t ever shared with organizations that receive your contactless payments.
I travel frequently for work, and during those trips I use my corporate AmEx in lots of random (and sometimes shady) taxis, trains, coffee shops, airports, planes, sandwich spots, convenience stores, hotels, restaurants and bars. Any added security measures I can get while I travel are more then welcome, and I’m sure many other road warriors feel the same way.
Adding and authenticating your AmEx corporate card to a compatible iPhone or Apple Watch is relatively simply; you just scan the cards via the Apple Pay option within your iPhone’s settings or Apple Watch app, plug in any additional details that are required, give AmEx a quick phone call, and then answer a few personal questions to verify you’re the card holder. (You’re supposed to be able to verify via email, but that option didn’t work for me.)
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.