American Express puts Kabbage acquisition to work with first checking account

American Express, best known for its array of personal and corporate cards, is making a push into territory held by banks and a growing list of fintech players.

The card company is launching its first checking account for small businesses by leaning on technology acquired last year in the acquisition of online lender Kabbage, CNBC has learned.

The product, called Kabbage Checking, is a no-fee digital account that pays 1.1% interest on up to $100,000 in balances. It includes mobile check deposits, a debit card, bill pay and targeted savings features, and access to a network of ATMs and retail locations for cash transactions.

It’s the latest move to shake up the increasingly competitive world of small business banking. For decades, big U.S. lenders were mostly content to offer bare-bones checking accounts and credit cards to small business owners. Entrepreneurs who needed access to more working capital were often out of luck.

That gave rise to online lenders…

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