Online servicing is now the preferred channel for many American Express corporate customers says the company as it reveals sweeping international job cuts as part of the shift.
Amex has reported a $400m ($287 after tax) restructuring charge in its fourth quarter results with the travel business to see the largest staff reductions as the company moves to contain operating expense and continue to adapt to the growth in online and mobile channels.
The global travel division is to take the largest hit, predominantly in positions that don't directly generate revenue, with the company saying:
"It is an industry that is being fundamentally reinvented as a result of the digital revolution."
Amex is cutting an estimated 5,400 jobs over the course of 2013 as part of its response to the shift to online and the resulting need for fewer staff.
In an investors' call chief executive Kenneth Chenault says the business had been working to transform itself for the digital market with initiatives such as its partnerships with Facebook, FourSquare and Twitter to deliver deals from large brands to card holders.
He adds that the company has also implemented technology enabling it to 'aggressively shift' interactions online.
The job losses will lead to an overall reduction of 4-6% of the current total of 63,500 employees as Chenault anticipates some job creation within the company.
Amex also revealed a fourth quarter cost of $342m relating enhancements to the redemption process for Membership Rewards and $153m expense for cardmember reimbursements for historical transactions.
Taking these two costs and the $400m restructure into consideration, the company reported fourth quarter net revenue of $637m.
Further details will be provided in the full earnings call on January 17.