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Q. American Express? Do my customers carry it?
A: The American Express Card is growing in popularity with consumers, small businesses and corporations. With millions of Cards in the market including Cards from abroad, American Express Card Acceptance can open up untapped spend for your business and meet the needs of your customer. When you put together our strong Corporate Card presence with our traditional Consumer Cards, there is a more diverse and larger range of people who carry our Card products.

Q. My competitors don’t take it. Why should I?
A: American Express offers an opportunity for Merchants to attract and retain great customers. What’s more, American Express Cardmembers actively seek out accepting Merchants, which gives your business the chance to stand out against the rest. 54% of American Express Cardmembers agree that they are more likely to return to a Merchant when they know American Express is accepted. 1

Q. How quickly am I paid for my American Express transactions?
A: The standard speed of pay for American Express Merchants is a three day pay. However, please note this is dependent on your agreed payment plan. Fifteen and thirty day payment plans are also available to you. Contact us to verify your speed of pay and what options are available to you.

Q. Why do you pay net? Other Card issuers don’t.
A: Net payments mean we simply pay for the American Express Charges, less the amount of the Merchant Discount Rate. We find this is a simpler and easier way of doing business, which means we are not regularly deducting fees from your bank account. We also provide online or paper based reporting that makes reconciliation and reporting easy for your business.

Q. How will you help me attract American Express Cardmembers?
A: American Express Cardmembers are great customers who actively seek out accepting Merchants. Cardmembers are seeking out the American Express logo at the Point of Sale to ensure you welcome their Card. 73% of American Express Cardmembers determine if a Merchant accepts American Express by looking for signs at the counter or cash register or signage on Merchant doors or windows. 2 Place your POP in highly visible areas in order to ensure you are welcoming American Express Cardmembers that visit your establishment. In addition, we offer a variety of products and services to help you attract more Cardmembers including marketing programs in some cases.

Q. I am already an American Express Merchant. How do I find my Merchant number?
A: Your Merchant number can be found on the top left-hand side of your paper or online statement. It is a ten digit number, beginning with the digits 93.

Q. What is fraud, and how does it affect me?
A: Fraud comes in many forms, such as stolen and counterfeit Cards. It’s likely you’ll have to deal with attempted fraud at some point, so it’s important you recognize the signs to help avoid fraudulent transactions. If you are slow to react, it can result in loss of goods and revenue through Chargebacks.

Q. How can I avoid fraudulent transactions?
A: We take the security of your business very seriously, that is why we provide guidelines to help you avoid fraudulent activity, regardless of whichever type of transaction you are dealing with.

Some ways to help detect fraud include:
•   Ensure the Card has not expired, been altered, or damaged.
•   Carefully compare the Cardmember’s signature on the receipt, with the signature on the back of     the Card.
•   Only send merchandise to the Cardmember billing address for the Card, and obtain signed proof     of delivery.
•   Make sure your online checkout is secure, and encrypted to industry-standards.

To learn more visit the Avoiding Card fraud section of the website.

Q: How do I let you know about changes to my details?
A: Please contact Merchant Services at 1-800-268-9877 (Monday – Friday, 8am to 8pm EST).

Q: I have other business locations that I would like to accept American Express Cards. What do I need to do?
A: Contact Merchant Services at 1-800-268-9877 (Monday – Friday, 8am to 8pm EST).

Q: How do I ensure my terminal accepts American Express Cards?
A: Please contact your terminal provider (the number provided on the terminal) or contact the Merchant Services Technical Support Unit (if you have an American Express Terminal) at 1-877-834-7607 (24/7).

Q: My terminal is asking for authorization of a transaction. Who do I contact?
A: Contact our 24-Hour Authorizations line at 1-800-268-9824.Please be prepared to provide your 10 digit Merchant number, Cardmember’s Card Account number, and the amount being charged.

 

Enrolling

Q: What if I forget my password?
A: You can reset your password online by going to americanexpress.ca and clicking on the “Forgot ID or Password?” link. You can also contact 1-800-374-2639 (Monday – Friday, 9am to 7:30pm EST) for assistance.

Q: Why should I view my payments online?
A: Online access allows you to quickly view important information, such as what you’ve been paid and what’s pending, as well as to track submissions and final settlements. Viewing payments online is also convenient. And you can easily download your financial information into spreadsheet application such as Microsoft® Excel. Sign up to view payments online or by calling 1-800-374 -2639 (Monday – Friday, 9am to 7:30pm EST).

Q: Will I be able to cancel my enrollment to view payments online?
A: Yes. If you find you want to cancel this service, you can do so by contacting 1-800-374-2639 (Monday – Friday, 9am to 7:30pm EST). Please note that cancelling your Internet service through your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will not automatically cancel your enrollment to view payments online.

Q: I signed up to view my payments online. Will I still receive my paper statement?
A: Once you enroll in Online Merchant Services, your financial information will be provided to you through online access only and you’ll no longer be charged the monthly statement fee.

Viewing Payments

Q: Can I set up multiple business locations in order to view each location’s payments online?
A: If you are already enrolled in OMS (Online Merchant Services), you can set up multiple business locations, as well as designate affiliate offices and headquarters, by contacting Merchant Services at 1-800-268-9877 (Monday – Friday 8am-8pm EST).

Q: When will I be able to view a deposit made to my bank account, online?
A: If you have on-line banking, you can go online and see when a deposit has been made to your Account. In general, a new payment from American Express will post to your bank account on the third day after American Express receives your batch.

Q: How can I ensure that my financial information prints out correctly?
A: The simplest way to ensure that your information prints properly is to do a Print Preview. In your browser, go to the File menu and choose Print Preview. From there, you can change page settings to ensure correct printing.

OMS Disputes
Click here to find answers to a range of questions for Online Merchant Services related Disputes.

Q: How can I order American Express Point of Purchase (POP) materials?
A: There are currently two channels which are available for our Merchants to place an order for
American Express POP materials. You can place your order through: Merchant Services at 1-800-268-9877 (Monday – Friday, 8am to 8pm EST) or visit our online catalogue at www.americanexpress.ca/freedecals

Q: Are POP materials complimentary?
A: Yes. All POP materials are provided to our Merchants at no charge.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of items I can order?
A: You can order up to a maximum of 50 pieces per item at one time.

Q: Upon placing my order, where do I collect the POP materials?
A: The POP material will be delivered directly to you between 9am to 5pm EST from Monday to Friday. Please be sure to provide accurate business mailing address and contact details in your online order.

Q: How long does it take for POP material to be delivered?
A: For orders placed by telephone through Merchant Services or via our online catalogue, POP materials will take approximately 5 working days to reach you.

Q: Can I request for the order to be delivered to a residence or an overseas address?
A: We are unable to deliver the order to a residence or overseas address. All deliveries must be made to a local business address.

General

Q: What is Chip and PIN?
A Chip Card (also known as an EMV Card) is a Card with a built-in micro-processor Chip in addition to the magnetic stripe. The Chip on the Card stores data securely so that it is difficult for it to be copied or altered.

For Chip and PIN transactions, there is an additional layer of security as customers will use a PIN instead of a signature to complete the transaction. All Chip Cards will also have a magnetic stripe which enables them to be accepted on terminals that are not upgraded to accept Chip Cards.
For the foreseeable future, you should expect to see a mix of different Card types, and can treat them all at parity.

Q: How does Chip and PIN prevent fraud?
A: Chip & PIN can reduce Card fraud as it is more difficult for a Chip Card to be altered or copied.

Q: How does Chip and PIN affect Card Not Present transactions?
A: Any transaction where the customer is not present, such as telephone, online or mail order is not affected by the introduction of Chip & PIN, and all types of Cards can be used to make these transactions.

Q: Can I still accept a magnetic stripe Card after the market migrates to Chip?
A: Yes. Because not all countries will be moving to Chip, for the foreseeable future, you should still expect to see Cards with only a magnetic stripe, or EMV-compliant Chip Cards with or without a PIN, and you should accept all of them at parity. All Cards will retain both magnetic stripe and Chip functionality.

Q: Is American Express participating in the migration to Chip and PIN?
A: Yes. American Express Chip and PIN Cards are accepted at thousands of Merchant locations across Canada today.

Financial Costs
Q: Will Chip and PIN have any impact on my Discount Rate?
A: No, there is no impact on your Discount Rate as a result of Chip & PIN. The Discount Rate is not impacted by the technology used to process transactions.

Q: How much will a migration to Chip and PIN cost?
A: The cost of becoming Chip enabled will be different for each Merchant depending on your current POS environment.

If your Processor supplies your POS device, they may just change or upgrade your POS device. We recommend that you request that your processor work with you to ensure that American Express requirements are included in your POS upgrade.

If you own your own POS device, and decide to invest in Chip you will likely need to upgrade each POS device for Chip and request that your processor work with you to implement American Express Chip requirements. The cost will vary depending on the type of device that you use.

There are also other costs that you will need to consider such as staff training.
Remember to include American Express in your migration plans.

Q: Will Chip Cards reduce fraud?
A: In other markets where Chip has been implemented increased Chip Cards in the market has been shown to reduce fraud in Card Present fraud situations such as counterfeit, lost and stolen Card fraud. Chip technology however, does not have the same impact in Card Not Present environments such as online, mail order and telephone order.
American Express is committed to reducing fraud across our payments network. We work with industry and Merchants to deploy tools and strategies.

Q: Will I be responsible for fraud on American Express transactions?
A: As the issuance of Chip Cards increases, failure to implement Chip enabled POS devices will increase your liability for fraud on Card Present Charges effective October 31, 2012. You can find details about American Express’ Fraud Liability Shift policy in the Merchant Operations Manual.
You can mitigate your risk of fraud related Chargebacks by upgrading your Point Of Sale terminals to read American Express Chip Cards.

 

Q: What do I do if the Cardmember does not know or has forgotten their PIN?
A: Please ask the Cardmember to contact American Express (the number on the back of their Card) to reset their PIN.

Q: What should I do if the Card has no Chip on it?
A: Just swipe the Card’s magnetic stripe. The terminal will prompt for a signature and the Cardmember should sign for the transaction.

Q: My terminal is set up for Chip and PIN, do I have to accept any signature Cards?
A: Yes, all Cards must be accepted at parity, regardless of whether they are Chip and PIN Cards or not. If you are presented with a Card without a Chip, just swipe the Card’s magnetic stripe. The terminal will prompt for a signature. There may also be some Cards in circulation with Chips but no PINs, and for these Cards the terminal will prompt for a signature when you insert the Chip in the reader.

Q: What training will I need to provide to my customer facing staff?
A: Each Merchant should develop their own training requirements. It is very important that your employees are aware that Chip and PIN and Magnetic Stripe Cards will be in circulation for the foreseeable future, and that they are familiar with the correct procedure for processing transactions on all types of Cards. We recommend that you consult with your POS provider for specific details.

Note: Various American Express products, policies and practices to limit fraud are in effect. Chip is one such product in a suite of products that work together to combat against Fraud.

 

Q: How do Contactless payments work?
A: Contactless transactions are initiated when a Card enabled with Contactless functionality is held up to a contactless reader at the Point of Sale (POS). Payment account and security information is then sent wirelessly from the contactless payment Card to the reader.

Q: How can I incorporate American Express Contactless Payments acceptance into my Point of Sale environment?
A: Merchants should consult with their processors and industry partners such as POS providers and software integrators to understand what solutions are available for Contactless Payments acceptance, and the changes that may be necessary. The following guidelines will apply:
     •   Merchants need to outfit their POS environment with American Express certified contactless readers –          Contactless payments can be implemented with a single POS terminal or with a contactless reader          connected to an existing POS system

     •   For Merchants who do their own Point of Sale development, POS readers or integrated terminals need          to be upgraded to accept American Express Contactless payments and must have completed the          necessary testing and certification. Electronic cash register (ECR) and Point of Sale system software          may also need to be updated to process Contactless payments

Q: Will I need to replace my existing equipment in order to accept Contactless payments?
A: Not necessarily. In fact, many of the contactless devices available from major manufacturers are already pre-certified for American Express Contactless payments. American Express certified contactless readers are also compatible with a variety of terminals. Merchants should work with their individual terminal provider to understand what solutions are available.

Q: If I have a Contactless reader that operates on another network solution will I be able to accept American Express Contactless payments?
A: If your processor supplies your Point of Sale device, they may be able to upgrade your POS device for American Express Contactless payments acceptance. We recommend that you request that your processor work with you to ensure that American Express requirements are included in your Contactless solution.

 

Q: What are the different ways to process American Express transactions?
A: There are 3 methods to process:
     •   Processing Charges electronically
     •   Processing Charges manually
     •   Processing mail order, telephone order (MOTO) and online Charges

Q: How do I process American Express transactions?
A: If you are processing the Charge:

a) Electronically
Processing the American Express Card Charges electronically is quicker for you and your employees. Electronic processing can also help ensure the accuracy of your transactions and reduce the chance of incorrectly completed forms or lost paperwork.

Simply swipe the Card through your terminal or insert the Card into a Chip reader to request Authorizations. If your existing terminals do not accept American Express Cards, call our Product Solutions Group at 1-800 -528-0682 (Monday – Friday, 9am to 7:30pm EST).

To process Charges electronically, follow these easy steps:

1.  Before processing your first Charge or Credit, make sure your Electronic Data Capture (EDC) terminal or      electronic cash register is properly programmed
2.  Follow the basic instructions for submitting transactions that were provided with your equipment
3.  Your terminal must be able to generate a receipt containing the following information:
     •   Approval code number
     •   Truncated Card Account number and expiry date
     •   Date of Charge
     •   Amount of Charge, which must be the total purchase price of goods or services purchased,          including applicable taxes, tips, postage and packing Charges. Any tip amount should be filled in by          the Cardmember before you complete the total on the receipt
     •   A concise description of the goods or services purchased
     •   Your business name, address and American Express Merchant number.

b) Processing Charges manually
When your terminal is down, you can still accept American Express Charges by processing them manually.

For each transaction, be sure to:

     •   Complete a Record of Charge (ROC), and include all the information required for an in-person Charge
     •   Obtain the Cardmember’s signature on the ROC form
     •   Call American Express 24-Hour Authorizations line at 1-800-268- 9824.
     •   Complete the Summary of Charge (SOC) and submit the forms (ROC and SOC) to Amex Bank of          Canada, Box 6100 Agincourt Postal Station, Scarborough, Ontario M1S 4C2

c) Processing mail order, telephone order (MOTO) and online Charges.
To protect yourself from Chargebacks, please follow the Card Acceptance procedures in your Card Acceptance Agreement. Be sure to:

     •   Provide signed proof of delivery to the Cardmember's billing address
     •   Always submit Mail secure/Phone secure/online Charges under a separate Merchant number. To find          out how you can acquire a separate Merchant number, please contact Merchant Services at
         1-800-268-9877 (Monday – Friday, 8am to 8pm EST)
     •   Ensure merchandise is delivered to the Cardmember's billing address. We recommend you instruct your          shipping company not to re-route merchandise

         To avoid risk of fraud, remember to ask the Cardmember for:

     •   Their name exactly as it appears on the Card
     •   Their Card Account number
     •   Card valid dates
     •   Card billing address, as well as the address where the merchandise is to be delivered (if different from          billing address)
     •   Home or business telephone number
     •   Telephone number where the Cardmember can be reached (if it differs from the home or business          phone)

         For each transaction, be sure to:

     •   Complete a Record of Charge (ROC), and include all the information required for an in-person Charge.          Then follow the above instructions from point 3 of “Electronically processing”
     •   Write "Telephone Order" or "Mail Order" as appropriate on the signature line of the Record of Charge
     •   Call American Express 24-Hour Authorizations line at 1-800-268-9824

         Complete the Summary of Charge (SOC) and submit the forms (ROC and SOC) to Amex Bank of          Canada, Box 6100 Agincourt Postal Station, Scarborough, Ontario, M1S 4C2
     •   In the case of mail, telephone or online transactions where the Cardmember is not present to sign or to          enter in their PIN, you need to follow a different process:
             •   You must obtain all required information from your customer in order to complete your transaction.                  The details you require depend on your “Card Not Present” acceptance function on your terminal.                  Contact your service provider to discuss these requirements.

Q: How do I process a refund?
A: There are 2 methods you can use to process a refund. You can either process it on your terminal by pressing the ‘refund’ function2 or simply complete a manual refund form.

     For each refund, be sure to:
     •   Complete a Credit Record of Charge (Credit ROC) and include all the information required
     •   Then complete a Credit Summary of Charge (Credit SOC)

     Send the forms (Credit ROC and Credit SOC) to Amex Bank of Canada, Box 6100 Agincourt Postal      Station, Scarborough, Ontario, M1S 4C2 in order to have them processed.
2The refund function on your terminal differs from bank to bank. Contact your terminal provider for assistance.

Q: How do I process a refund with a partial Card number?
A: You may contact Merchant Services at 1-800-268-9877 (Monday – Friday, 8am-8pm EST) in order to obtain the full Card number. Please note before we can release the information, we are required to verify the identity of your business first.
Kindly provide the partial Card number, the Charge amount and the transaction date in order for us to assist you in locating the details.

Q: What is a debit balance?
A: Debit balance refers to the outstanding amount in your Account due to the following reasons:

  • A refund that was processed to a Cardmember

  • An adjustment incurred due to a Cardmember dispute

  • Fees

Q: Why do I receive a debit balance letter?
A: When your transactions are insufficient to collect any outstanding amount, American Express will send you the Debit Balance letter to notify you of your outstanding balance 15, 30 and 45 days after it is reflected in your Account.

Q: How can I clear the outstanding balance on my Account?
A: There are 2 ways to clear the outstanding balance on your Account:

1. Direct Debit
You can set up your Merchant Account on Debit Electronic Funds Transfer by signing a Pre-authorized Debit agreement (PAD) and sending it to our banking department with a copy of a voided Cheque. You can also contact our Merchant Services for more details at 1-800-268-9877 (Monday – Friday, 8am to 8pm EST).

2. Via Cheque
You can send us a Cheque made payable to 'Amex Bank of Canada' to the following address:
     Amex Bank of Canada
     PO Box 9000 Station B RMB
     Willowdale, ON M2K 2R6
Please ensure that your Merchant number is written on the Cheque in order for us to identify your Merchant Account.

 

Q. What is fraud, and how does it affect me?
A. Fraud takes many forms, like stolen and counterfeit Cards, for example. You’ll have to deal with attempted fraud at some point, so it is important that you recognize the signs to avoid fraudulent transactions. If you’re slow to react, it can result in loss of goods and revenue through Chargebacks.

Q. What should I do if I suspect a Card is stolen, or is a counterfeit?
A. Please hold onto the Card, and call our 24-Hour Authorizations line at 1-800-268-9824. We’ll need your Merchant number, and the Card Account number.
Please note that you should follow your internal store policies. You should never put yourself or your employees in unsafe situations, nor physically detain or harm the holder of the Card .

Q. How can I avoid fraudulent transactions?
A. Vigilance is most important in avoiding fraudulent activity, whichever type of transaction you’re dealing with.

1. When cardholder is Present :
     •   Only proceed if the customer is in possession of the Card
     •   Check the Card has not expired, been altered or damaged
     •   Carefully compare the customer’s signature on the receipt with the signature on the Card if it is a          magnetic stripe Card or Chip and Signature. PIN validation may be used for Chip Cards too
     •   With Chip and PIN, you are protected against fraudulent activities and you can enjoy the highest level of          security when transacting on your terminal. The microprocessor chip on the EMV Chip Card is          protected by cryptographic encryption, which prevents its contents from being replicated. The          chip-based Card complies with the MAS standards of data security

2. When the cardholder is Not Present (mail order, telephone or online orders):
     •   Ask for the Cardmember name exactly as it appears on the Card
     •   Request the Card Account number and expiration date (valid date)
     •   Request Cardmember home or business phone number and billing address
     •   Verify Cardmember information via one of our verification systems (link to CNP Tools)
     •   Acquire shipping address and name (if different from billing address)

 

Q. How do I let you know about changes to my details?
A. Please contact Merchant Services at 1-800-268-9877 (Monday – Friday, 8am to 8pm EST)

Q. I have other business locations where I would like to accept American Express. What do I need to do?
A. Contact Merchant Services at 1-800-268-9877 (Monday – Friday, 8am to 8pm EST)

Q. How do I ensure my terminal accepts American Express Cards?
A. Please contact your terminal supplier (the number provided on the terminals)

Q. My terminal is asking for authorization of a transaction. Who do I call?
A. Contact our 24-Hour Authorizations line at 1-800-268-9824. They’ll need your Merchant number, Card Account number, and the amount charged.

Q: How can you help me attract more American Express Cardmembers?
A: We offer a variety of products and services to help you attract more American Express Cardmembers. These include complimentary promotional material as well as marketing programs such as Selects.

Q: What is American Express Selects?
A: American Express Selects is a global online marketing platform which has the goal of driving incremental business volume at participating Merchants. The platform highlights Merchant offers to our Cardmembers; offers are to be made available to ALL American Express Cardmembers. Selects is a great opportunity to attract global American Express Cardmembers to your business.

Q: How do I place an offer on the American Express Selects website?
A: If you are interested in making an offer to American Express Cardmembers on Selects, complete and submit the Selects Participation Inquiry Form . A member of our marketing team will review your submission and contact you with further details.

Q: What would I need to provide/submit to American Express when I decide to participate in Selects?
A: You will need to provide us with your company logo as a JPEG or TIFF file, or a high-resolution EPS file, and high res images/visuals, plus your offer details to our marketing team along with a completed Participation Agreement Form (PA Form) and Umbrella Marketing Agreement (UMA), these forms will be provided to you by our marketing team.

Q: How long will it take to publish my Selects offer on the website?
A: Upon approval of your Selects offer, with all images/logos and forms submitted, it can take up to six weeks to appear on the website.

Q: Can I promote my Selects offer on my website?
A: Yes, you can promote your offer for American Express Cardmembers on your website, but you’ll first need to get approval by American Express Marketing.

Q: What type of offer do I need to provide?
A: American Express Selects is an offers platform. You’ll need to provide a best-in-class offer during the time of promotion. You may view current offers on americanexpress.ca/selects to help you design your offer.

Q: When accepting Gift Cards, do I need to do anything differently?
A: A Merchant does not need new hardware or software to process an American Express Gift Card. The Merchant simply follows standard Card Acceptance procedures, just as they would with any other American Express Card. However the Merchant should be sure to confirm the Gift Card’s available balance with the customer before authorizing the transaction and only authorize for the available balance. If the Card does not have sufficient funds to cover the entire amount of the purchase, perform a split transaction requesting payment of the remaining amount using another payment method if your policy allows for this.

Q: How are authorizations handled for Gift Cards?
A: Authorizations for Gift Cards are handled the same as with any other American Express Card. If you attempt to authorize a Gift Card for more than the available balance on the Card, your authorization will be declined. To avoid a decline, always confirm the balance on the Card with the customer and only perform an authorization for the available balance on the Card or less. Should the available balance on the Card not be sufficient to cover the entire amount of the purchase, perform a split transaction requesting payment of the remaining amount using another payment method if your policy allows for this.

Q: Can customers return merchandise and have a credit processed to their Gift Card?
A: Gift Card holders can receive credit for returned merchandise, but they must have the Gift Card with them, and they must adhere to the Merchant’s return policy. When a credit is processed to a Gift Card, the funds are not immediately available. Just like with another American Express Card, American Express cannot process that credit until the Merchant sends in a settlement. This process may take three to seven business days.

Q: Is the Dispute handling processes for Gift Cards any different than for other American Express Cards?
A: Disputes and Chargebacks for Prepaid Cards will be handled as per your Card Acceptance Agreement. Gift Card holders are unable to “stop payment” or “lodge” a billing dispute on transactions related to the quality of goods/services purchased. They are instructed to address these questions directly with the Merchant.

Q: What do American Express Gift Cards look like?
A: Although there are various Cards and designs, all American Express Prepaid Cards have a Blue box logo on the front of the Card. All Gift Cards have the word “prepaid” or some similar designation on the front of the Card. American Express Prepaid Cards can be not embossed.

 

Q: What is a Dispute?
A: A Dispute occurs when a Cardmember notifies American Express about a Charge on their Statement which they do not recognize and requests further information.

Q: What is a Chargeback?
A: A Chargeback occurs when, after investigation of a Dispute, we debit your Account by the amount of the disputed transaction and credit the Cardmembers statement.

Q: Will I be notified of a Dispute or Chargeback?
A: If a Cardmember questions a Charge, and the data we hold is insufficient to resolve the issue, we may send you an inquiry letter (Request for Information Letter). In certain circumstances, we make a Chargeback without sending an inquiry letter. For example, with Merchants who receive a lot of Disputes, or conduct transactions in what we consider to be risky business industries. If any inquiry results in a Chargeback to your Account, we will notify you accordingly.

Q: What is an Inquiry letter?
A: When we are unable to resolve a Dispute using our own data, we may send you an inquiry letter. This outlines the reason for the Dispute and specifies the documents we require from you. Please ensure that you respond fully before the reply-by date given.

Q: How do I avoid Disputes and Chargebacks?
A: There are steps you can take to minimize the risk/occurrences of Disputes and Chargebacks:
•   Keep all records of sales and Charges
•   Help the Cardmember recall the transaction. Provide as much information as possible to remind them of the     transaction (the hotel room number, for example)
•   Clearly advise Cardmembers of your returns policy for damaged or unwanted goods, and cancellation     policy
•   Examine all Cards carefully. Make sure it has not been altered or damaged and has not expired. If the Card     is not a Chip and PIN Card, ensure the signature matches the signature on the back of the Card.

Q: Who can I contact about a Dispute or Chargeback?
A: Contact our Merchant Services at 1-800-268- 9877 (Monday – Friday, 8am to 8pm EST) for further information.

 

Q: What is the Data Security Operating policy?
A: The Data Security Operating Policy is an American Express policy, first implemented in 2002, with which all Merchants, processors, and service providers that store, process or transmit American Express Cardmember information must comply. The latest version of this policy has been modified to reflect current business conditions, provides additional requirements to help safeguard Cardmember information, and aligns with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI Standard). The PCI Data Security Standard sets out a common set of technical requirements for safeguarding sensitive payment data applicable across the industry.

Q: To whom does the Data Security Operating Policy apply?
A: The Data Security Operating Policy applies to all Merchants and service providers that process, store, or transmit American Express Cardmember information. Its requirements apply to all of their equipment, systems, and networks on which this information is processed, stored, or transmitted.

Q: Why is the Data Security Operating Policy important to my business?
A: The Data Security Operating Policy is a sound business practice and a requirement of American Express. Compromised data negatively impacts consumers, Merchants, and Card issuers. Even one incident can severely damage a company's reputation and its ability to effectively conduct business. Addressing this threat by implementing the Data Security Operating Policy helps improve customer trust, and has the potential to enhance a company's reputation. American Express knows that you share our concern and requires, as part of your responsibilities, that you comply with the data security provisions in your American Express Card Acceptance Agreement ("Agreement") and the Data Security Operating Policy.

Q: Does the Data Security Operating Policy still apply to me if I do not store Cardmember information?
A: The Data Security Operating Policy applies to all your equipment, systems, and networks on which Cardmember Information is stored, processed, or transmitted.

Q: Can a Merchant/service provider be considered compliant if it has outstanding non-compliance issues?
A: Please refer to Data Security Operating Policy Section 4, Merchants Not Compliant with PCI DSS, for detailed information pertaining to this situation.

Q: How does the Data Security Operating Policy compare to the PCI Data Security Standard?
A: The PCI Data Security Standard is the technical foundation for the Data Security Operating Policy , allowing Merchants to comply with one set of data security standards for all payment brands. The Data Security Operating Policy defines the Merchant levels, validation requirements and deadlines. Each payment Card network defines its own Merchant levels, validation requirements and deadlines.

Q: Who should I contact if I have questions about the American Express Data Security Operating Policy?
A: American Express has retained Trustwave to administer our Data Security Compliance Program. Trustwave is a leading provider of information security and compliance management solutions to Merchants and service providers. Please contact them with any questions via email at AmericanExpressCompliance@trustwave.com or 1-866-659-9016 (24/7).

Q: If my business doesn't accept Card payments through its website, is there any point for me to do a scan?
A: If you have an outward-facing and active IP address, then you must have a scan performed. Any outward-facing and active IP addresses that are associated with the network in which Card processing occurs are in scope for scanning.

Q: Will I be notified of my compliance status by American Express?
A: American Express will be notifying you of your compliance status. If you have submitted acceptable documents, no further action will be required until the next quarterly network scan is due.