American Express, also known as Amex, is one of the best known financial services providers in the world. They are best known for their charge and credit cards as well as their traveler’s cheques. American Express cards account for about 24% of all credit card transactions in the United States. American Express is one of the most valuable companies in the world and reported a revenue of over $25 billion in 2010. The company employs over 61,000 people. Continue reading to find out who founded this successful company.
Who founded American Express?
Originally, American Express was founded in Albany, New York, as an express mail company. It was founded in 1850 by merging the existing companies owned by Henry Wells, William Fargo, and John Warren Butterfield. These founders also went onto found Wells Fargo & Company in 1952 after some of the directors objected to extend the operations of American Express into the state of California.
American Express didn’t begin offering financial services until 1882 when they launched a money order business to compete with money orders from the United States Post Office. The company launched the traveler’s cheque in 1891 and this led to American Express becoming an international company. Today, American Express provides the most traveler’s cheques in the world. The first charge card was launched in 1958 and demand was unprecedented. In 1959 Amex was the first company to use plastic cards. The first Amex credit card was launched in 1987 and this was the first Amex card that didn’t have to be paid in full each month.