AMEX or American Express is one of the leading credit card providers in the world. It is known to process around 22 percent of total transactions across the globe. To top it all, American Express is also regarded as the 25th most valuable company in the world.
While you might have heard of AMEX, only a few individuals are aware of the fact that the leading credit card provider is also a famous acquiring bank and a processor. American Express or AMEX is renowned for its own merchant service range. It also features a dedicated payment way to ensure seamless American Express credit card processing.
If you are working with a banking service provider like Barclays, you are, however, expected to sign up for the American Express merchant account. It is because Barclays does not offer credit card processing services. Let us help you with in-depth insight into American Express Merchant Services.
An Overview of American Express Merchant Services
Most merchants tend to be notoriously hesitant towards accepting American Express Merchant Services. It is simply because the cardholder will usually charge some premium amount. However, there are some merchant service providers that offer AMEX at a discount. Moreover, cardholders of American Express tend to spend more. This is the reason why they possess a premium credit or debit card. Also, the transaction rates or charges of AMEX keep changing from time to time.
American Express is known to offer a dedicated online payment way that can be used for processing almost any card or card processing for American Express cards with a proper merchant service agreement. Some points to look into are:
- 24/7 customer services in three languages
- Monthly costs starting from $17
- Transaction fees for credit card processing – starting from 1.7 to 5 percent
- Access to American Express cardholders
While American Express is not known to offer a full-fledged range of services. Still, when you choose American Express, it offers you access to more than 102.4 million cardholders leveraging the merchant services offered by the company. It is important to note that most American Express cardholders tend to depict improved spending power than Visa or MasterCard. Still, a number of merchants avoid accepting these cards due to the higher costs of processing transactions.
What Does an AMEX or American Express Merchant Account Feature?
Amex offers access to online account management features. This allows users to accept American Express as well as other cards with the help of the online store. The fees that you are charged will typically depend on size, business industry, transaction volume, and other factors.
- American Express Payment Gateway: It features an API that is fully customizable. Therefore, it can be easily integrated into most e-commerce platforms and shopping carts. The transaction rates in this case will depend on the total sales volume. Still, Amex comes up with proper pricing plans for ensuring card transaction rates. It starts at around 12p.
The fee is typically charged on top of the existing credit card transaction rate. Therefore, if you aim at paying 2.5 percent for processing, the total rate will be something around 2.5% + 10p.
- Amex Internet Direct: With American Express Internet Direct, you are capable of connecting directly to American Express for directly processing online transactions. It is achieved directly with the help of the website of the company to minimize fees by reducing third-party processing. Without any requirements for transaction volumes, online sales, and support for face-to-face interactions, along with a combination of XML and hosted API for integrated services, American Express Internet Direct is a top-quality solution if you wish to accept Amex and minimize fees by around one percent or even more for every transaction.
The only demerit of this type of Amex service is that you will be processing transactions over XML with the help of regular ISP (Internet Service Provider). This implies that you will be expected to deliver stronger internet security towards remaining compliant with PCI DSS. As Amex refuses to work with merchants that are non-compliant with PCI DSS, you should aim at achieving the same before applying for its merchant services.
- My Merchant Account: It is an online data management platform that allows you to access transactions, account data, and payments 24/7 -in real time. It is also possible to manage disputes and chargebacks while checking customer data and managing sales.
It features strong solutions for seamless data management along with 12 months of payment reports, chargeback management, cash flow statements, e-statements, phone & email support, and dispute alerts.
- Dynamic Currency Conversion: With American Express Merchant Services, you are allowed to accept payments in almost any form of currency. You can also look forward to improving conversions by revealing customers their local currency.
Amex is known to operate in more than 170 countries. Moreover, it offers the service of currency conversion for around 127 currencies. It serves to be an ideal solution for e-commerce stores -especially the ones operating internationally while featuring a large volume of sales in foreign currencies.
- Security: American Express offers one of the best security solutions. This makes the service provider immensely safe to use. In terms of security, it features:
- Data Security Operating Policy: It implies that Amex will not collaborate with your business unless your business is secure. This will help in minimizing the risks of frauds and chargebacks.
- Dedicated Data Security Operating Policy: Every account holder will receive dedicated support towards ensuring and improving secure business operations -including data management tools and services.
Reasons to Trust American Express Merchant Services
- Low Complaint Volumes: American Express boasts a reputation for providing unmatched services through its consumer-centric products. It also extends to the comprehensive range of merchant services by American Express. It is because there are only a few complaints that directly aim at targeting the merchant side of the brand.
Of the complaints that are available, most are because of chargebacks or fund-holds that American Express might have settled in the favor of consumers. A major complaint in the given context revealed a fund-hold of around $160,000 and improper customer services. There are only a few customer complaints regarding the higher processing rates.
- American Express Merchant Service Lawsuits: Recently, in 2018, the Supreme Court came up with a decision with respect to Ohio V. American Express Co. The Supreme Court held that the steering policies of the company were not responsible for violating federal anti-trust laws. The policies were eventually included in the contract for merchant services. This prevented the merchants from allowing customers to use different credit cards having processing fees lower than the rates of American Express.
Ultimately, the policy implied that the merchants will be paying higher rates. It was because the Supreme Court had put forth the vote in favor of American Express. In 2020, American Express was sued for misrepresenting billing rights on the respective bills.
- Customer Service Options for Amex: American Express delivers access to phone-based support to all the merchants in different parts of the world. However, its official website still does not have any list of payment processing or contact information for customer support.
You can get access to American Express customer care number as:
(800) 528-5200 – American Express Merchant Services
(800) 528-4800 – American Express General Customer Support
The company also offers access to the live chart support feature on its website.
- No Requirement of a Dedicated Profile for Merchant Services: According to the BBB or Better Business Bureau review of American Express Merchant Services, there is no involvement of a dedicated profile individually to Amex. Still, it features a single profile for the organization as a whole. According to BBB’s review, American Express has been awarded an ‘A+’ rating.
The rating is based on the time of the company in business, the total size of the company, number of complaints, response time for complaints, and the complaint resolution ratio.
Pricing Related to American Express Merchant Services
Business should be capable of accepting American Express merchant services for ensuring credit card payments. It helps in creating a merchant service account. Moreover, merchants should also have been in the given business for at least 2 years. The merchants should be capable of processing around $50,000 every year. Out of this income, around $12,000 is expected to have been made out of debit and credit cards.
The policy implies that the provider will not be accepting new businesses in the given scenario. Merchants that do not meet the qualified criteria can go through the review of the best merchant accounts for new businesses to come up with an alternative that is best-suited for the unique requirements.
American Express Merchant Services holds a strong standalone merchant account services for accept American Express credit cards. Moreover, it also comes forth with the online payment system with high-end developer tools. Both small-scale and medium-sized businesses can benefit from partnering directly with American Express -especially those having a great deal of American Express cards.