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Giving Credit

It’s been awhile since an FC Now entry has taken a look at innovation in the credit card industry. Long-standing, silver-haired American Express is beginning to target a younger, “cooler” crowd.

While the company’s Blue program seemed promising at launch, I’m curious whether this new approach bodes ill for its success. Blue was cool: a high-design smart card that… turned out not to be so smart once I got mine in the mail.

Now Amex hopes that its In:NYC program — as well as its counterparts In:Chicago and In:LA — will help buoy a shrinking market as young people increasingly turn to debit cards. Somewhat similar to the Marquis Jet card — look for the October issue of Fast Company — the card promises access to elite products and services.

Is this on brand for Amex? Off brand? Should credit cards be designed for specific urban areas?

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