American Express Co began operations as a joint stock association on March 28, 1850. It converted to a New York corporation on June 10, 1965. The Company together with its subsidiaries is a service company that provides customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Its main products and services are charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services offered to consumers and businesses. The Company is engaged in business comprising four operating segments: U.S. Consumer Services, International Consumer and network Services, Global Commercial Services and Global Merchant Services. The Company's products and services include charge and credit card products; expense management products and services; consumer and business travel services; stored value products such as Travelers Cheques and other prepaid products; network services; merchant acquisition and processing, servicing and settlement, and point-of-sale, marketing and information products and services for merchants; and fee services, including market and trend analyses and related consulting services, fraud prevention services, and the design of customized customer loyalty and rewards programs. The Company's products and services are sold to diverse customer groups, including consumers, small businesses, middle-market companies, and large corporations. These products and services are sold through various channels including direct mail, on-line, targeted sales forces, and direct response advertising. Its general-purpose card network, card-issuing and merchant-acquiring and processing businesses are global in scope. The Company is engaged in providing charge and credit cards to consumers, small businesses and corporations. These cards include cards issued by American Express as well as cards issued by third-party banks and other institutions that are accepted on the American Express network. The Global Merchant Services ("GNMS") segment operates a global payments network that processes and settles proprietary and non-proprietary card transactions. GNMS acquires merchants and provides point-of-sale products, multi-channel marketing programs and capabilities, services and data, leveraging its global closed-loop network. It provides ATM services and enters into partnership agreements with third-party card issuers and acquirers, licensing the American Express brand and extending the reach of the global network. In its Global Commercial Services segment, the Company provides expense management services to companies and organizations worldwide through its Global Corporate Payments and Global Business Travel businesses. Global Corporate Payments offers a range of expense management solutions to companies worldwide through its Corporate Card Programs and Business-to-Business Payment Solutions. American Express Global Business Travel provides globally integrated solutions, both online and offline, as well as through mobile applications, to help organizations manage and optimize their travel investments and service their traveling employees. The Company's global card network, including Global Merchant Services and Global Network Services businesses, competes in the global payments industry with other card networks, including, among others, Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club International, Discover and JCB and China UnionPay. The Company's proprietary Card business competes in the United States with financial institutions such as Citibank, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Capital One Financial, and Discover Financial Services.
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