Traditional magnetic stripe and Chip Cards (either PIN or Signature) are issued from American Express and other Card issuers around the world.
• Check the validity of the Card and make sure it hasn’t been visually altered or tampered with - Find out more about detecting a fraudulent Card
• Swipe the Card
• If the magnetic stripe is unreadable, you can key in the transaction manually (if this action is enabled on your POS terminal) and/or take an imprint of the Card
• Your POS terminal will automatically contact American Express and respond with an authorization code, a ‘decline’ or a ‘referral’ message.
• If the transaction is declined, refuse the transaction
• If you receive a ‘referral’ or ‘Call Issuer’ message, please contact us at 1-800-268-9824 (24/7) to obtain a decision
• Be sure to compare the signature on the receipt to the one on the back of the Card. If they don’t match, refuse the transaction
• Place the Card in the Chip reader of your POS terminal
• Follow the prompts on the terminal display to process the transaction
• If the Chip and Pin transaction is approved, return the Card to the customer and provide the customer with a copy of the transaction receipt
• If the Chip transaction fails, follow the magnetic stripe Cards procedure detailed above
• If the Chip and Pin transaction fails due to technical reasons, simply follow the Swipe Card procedures detailed under “Non-Chip and Pin Cards” above – Please note that if you process the transaction using this secondary method, you may be liable for a Chargeback if the Cardmember later Disputes the Charge
• If the Chip and Pin transaction is declined, refuse the transaction
• If you receive a ‘referral’ or ‘Call Issuer’ message please contact our 24-Hour Authorization Line at
1-800-268-9824 (24/7) to obtain a decision
• To learn more, refer to your Merchant Operating Manual
If your POS terminal is unavailable, you may still accept American Express Cards manually. Simply follow these instructions:
If your terminal is down or unable to automatically connect to American Express:
• Contact our 24-Hour Authorization line at 1-800-268-9824 (24/7) to request an authorization approval code and submit the Charge manually or
• Contact our Product Solutions Group at 1-800-528-0682 (Monday – Friday, 9am to 7:30pm EST) for manual submission of Charges
If your terminal is having difficulty accepting American Express transactions:
• Make a note of any messages or contact numbers that may be displayed on your terminal
• If no number is displayed, please contact your terminal provider for further instructions
For mail order, telephone or online transactions where the Cardmember is not present or is required to provide a signature, you need to follow a different process:
• Obtain all required information from the Cardmember to complete your transaction and contact your service provider or refer to the 'Card not present' acceptance function on your terminal to find out the details you require
• For online transactions, ensure that your online shopping cart and checkout is secure, following industry encryption standards
• Follow your 'Cardmember not present' process to request an authorization. If this process is unavailable, then contact our 24-Hour Authorization line at 1-800-268-9824.
It’s easy to accept our Travellers Cheques and it's good for business as many customers prefer the security that carrying Travellers Cheques provides.
• There’s no need to sign a contract, or pay any Charges to American Express (just your normal cheque deposit Charge to your bank)
• Our Travellers Cheques clear in the same amount of time as normal Cheques
• You’ll be paid for any American Express Travellers Cheque you accept provided you follow some straightforward security procedures
Need assistance? Contact the American Express Travellers Cheques Department at 1-800-221-7282 (24/7).