American Express's plan to cut 5,400 jobs, mostly from its travel division, and let employees handle travel arrangements themselves online underscores the trend by financial companies to use technology to cut costs. More banks, for example, are urging customers to use mobile banking and self-service kiosks in their branches. "Because customers are using tools directly online, we need less customer-facing people," said Kim Goodman, AmEx's global business travel unit president.

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