Twitter is entering the growing mobile e-commerce market by expanding its relationship with American Express.
Amex Sync will allow American Express cardholders to make purchases on Twitter through tweets that include special hashtags. The first offer will be for discounted AmEx gift cards, but the program will soon expand to include physical products from Amazon, Sony, and Microsoft's Xbox.
It is another step by AmEx to merge its services into social networks and grow its share of the contactless payments market. American Express already had a relationship with Twitter, as well as FaceBook, Xbox Live and Foursquare, that allowed registered cardholders to receive online discounts.
But this new arrangement is the company's first step in enabling cardholders to actually purchase products on a social network.
To get started, cardmembers have to link their eligible American Express cards to Twitter by going to sync.americanexpress.com/twitter and adding a billing and shipping address. Starting Monday, users can tweet #BuyAmexGiftCard25 to purchase a $25 Amex gift card for $15. Users will receive a confirmation tweet within 15 minutes, the user tweets back to confirm the purchase. American Express says credit card information is not shared with Twitter or merchants.
The American Express terms and conditions still apply. The company does warn cardholders that the Program may involve the electronic transmission of personal financial information across the network of wireless service providers. Because Amex does not operate or control the wireless networks used to access the program, American Express does not guarantee the privacy or security of wireless data transmissions. Additionally, the wireless device browser is generally pre-configured by your wireless internet service provider.
E-commerce sales surpassed the $1 trillion mark last year for the very first time, according to a report from eMarketer. Sales in 2012 increased 21.1 percent versus year-ago levels.