I know we spoke about this in several other threads, but thought it was worth mentioning. During college, we read annual reports, 10-Ks/10-Qs quite regularly and always looked for language from the CEO on their respective business and future outlook on the economy and industry they serve. I was reading up on Amex's AR just now and found an interesting quote from Amex's Chairman/CEO regarding the future of Amex as it looks to capitalize on future growth.
"There’s also tremendous opportunity ahead of us, measured in trillions of dollars of untapped commerce potential across consumer, small business and commercial payments. We are ready to capture a significant share of this spending as it migrates away from cash
. We’re also intent on building out a broader range of services that create more value for merchants and cardmembers." - Kenneth Chenault - CEO & Chairman of American Express, February 2013.
Haven't figured out how to upload an image, but you can go to their site and pull up the 2012 AR, page 14. About American Express
I just thought how he plainly puts that as consumers continue to pull away from cash, Amex will be there to capitalize on it. If you read his full report, it is interesting to see how Amex is really moving to acquire new members (new markets through BlueBird, Serve, and Loyalty Partner - all bringing in new and younger customers!) while - for the most part - bringing in exceptional service to its regular charge and credit card holders.
But his point on cash really jumped out at me, in that more people today are moving away from cash and embracing plastic, even in regions where paying with plastic is unheard of (it would be foolish to think everywhere in the world accepts plastic) it is slowly turning around. And I think as us cardmembers, we are sometimes taken aback when a merchant does not take Amex, let alone plastic.
I just wanted to point this out and how profound this statement is coming from the CEO of a major financial institution. Whether this will be all good for the markets in the long-run I don't know but it is something to consider.