GREENSBORO, N.C. – American Express (NYSE: AXP) is shutting down its call center operations in Greensboro, N.C., the company announced Wednesday morning.

Some 1,900 people work at the center.

About 400 employees at the Greensboro call-center will be allowed to work from home after the closing later this year. The remaining 1,500 workers will be offered relocation packages and jobs at facilities in Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“We hope to retain every last one of them,” though that’s unlikely, executive vice president Jim Bush said. “We will welcome 100 percent who express interest.”

The company has operated in Greensboro for about 25 years, Bush said on a conference call with reporters.

Gov. Bev Perdue said the state will reach out to the affected workers.

“I have already stood up a rapid response team made up of leaders from our workforce development teams, the Employment Security Commission and the community college system,” she said in a statement.

“Within the next seven days this team will begin working directly with AmEx employees to develop individual plans for those who need assistance,” she added. “We will be there to help those employees as they make this transition.”

Greensboro will remain home to a new data center that will process information from credit card transactions.

With fewer people using phone calls and more going online, American Express said volume of phone business is declining.

“The company’s decision reflects an overall decline in service volumes as more and more routine transactions have migrated to online and mobile channels,” the New York-based company said.

“Staffing levels have declined to reflect those lower volumes, largely by not filling positions that opened up when employees leave,” it added in a statement. “The reduced staffing levels have created significant vacancy levels in some facilities and, as a result, real-estate-related costs are inconsistent with anticipated needs.”

The company announced last spring it would build the $600 million data center just east of Greensboro.

Read the company announcement here.

American Express said it would take a $113 million charge to cover severance payments and other costs.

Through the company-wide moves, some 550 jobs will be cut in all but 3,500 current positions will be directly affected.

“[W]ork currently handled there will be transferred to other locations in the U.S.,” the company said.

“Subject to local consultations or feasibility studies, the company also plans to transfer work currently handled at a Madrid service centre to regional facilities in Brighton, U.K. and Buenos Aires, Argentina; and service support for the Japanese card business from Sydney to Japan.”

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