AmEx Stays Current with Twenty-Somethings

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American Express has launched a digital platform for the generation that grew up thinking money grows in ATMs.

Currency hopes to help young people be smarter about their finances, with tools including an iPhone app called Social Currency, which is linked to Foursquare so users can upload pictures of purchases and share text, comments and captions at check-in locations. Users can earn points and unlock badges to share information on good deals.

Developed in partnership with blog network Federated Media, Currency offers advice and tips on a broad range of topics facing college graduates and other 20-somethings: career advice, juggling roommate expenses, hidden costs of living alone, paying off a student loan, planning for the future, starting a family.[more]

It also includes blogs from financial consultants and journalists and virtual courses on paying taxes in partnership with Knowledge@Wharton, the University of Pennsylvania B-school’s online journal. A leaderboard features users who have earned the most ‘stars’ or credits for completed coursework.

“Gen X and Gen Y navigate a financial minefield far different from what their parents faced – and yet often the advice available to them does not meet their needs,” commented Pepper Evans Roukas, VP Digital Brand & Social Media Development, American Express.

“With Currency, we have brought together best-in-class partners, a youthful point-of-view and voice, and a rich, innovative social media platform to help empower visitors to the site with the knowledge and savvy it takes to attain financial success.”

Currency parses the content into three content categories: “Big Decisions,” “Planning & Savings,” and “Spending.” More than two dozen financial writers will contribute content including: Matt Gross, a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Manisha Thakor, CFA and co-author of On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance and Get Financially Naked.

User feedback will help determine the features and editorial going forward, and both American Express and FM are leveraging Twitter, Facebook and blog posts to drive traffic.

Todd Pruzan, editor of Currency, adds: “There’s a whole decade worth of young adults who really don’t have a handle on their personal finances. They’ve never been educated on this and it’s not their fault.”

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