American Express flexes its muscles in local deals market

The local deals and offers space is still emerging, and we’re seeing startups like Groupon, Living Social and Foursquare rise up only to be challenged by bigger web players like Google (s goog) and Facebook. But one of the most potent competitors is showing that you don’t have to be a hot startup to play in this market.

You can be like American Express (s axe), a 162-year-0ld financial services company that is marshaling its vast resources in pretty impressive ways to create what could be one of the strongest offerings in the local commerce space. It just inked a deal to bring personalized deals to Facebook through its Link, Like, Love platform and previously signed up partners in Foursquare and SCVNGR’s LevelUp to also distribute deals.┬áThe recent deals essentially allow card members to link their credit accounts to these social services, which can then offer them deals that can get connected to their card. When they go to redeem an offer, they just swipe their card and the transaction is processed automatically. Any discount is applied as credit to their American Express account.

I sat down and talked with American Express’ David Wolf, the VP of global marketing capabilities, about American Express’ approach to this market, what sets it apart and how far it can go in the daily deals space. He told me AmEx is uniquely positioned to excel in this market because of its close relationship with consumers and merchants and the valuable information it can offer businesses. And he said that while NFC is something the company is looking at, its card-based deals system works in a frictionless way today.

Take a look at the video below.