Q. How do I let you know about changes to my details?
A. Download the maintenance form from our website and fax it back with the necessary documentation after it has been filled in. You may also call our Customer Care Professionals on 0800 800 855 (Monday-Friday, 9.00am-6.00pm).
Q. I have other business locations where I would like American Express Cards to be accepted. What do I need to do?
A. Call our Customer Care Professionals on 0800 800 855 (Monday-Friday 9.00am-6.00pm).
Q. How do I ensure my terminal accepts American Express Cards?
A. Please call your terminal provider and request that your terminal be programmed with your American Express Merchant number.
Q. My terminal is asking for authorisation of a transaction. Who do I call?
A. Please call American Express on 0800 800 855. They’ll need your Merchant number, Card account number, and the amount charged.
Q. My terminal is displaying a fault message. Who do I call?
A. Call our Customer Care Professionals on 0800 800 855. Quote the reference letter which appears on the terminal screen.
Q. My terminal is set up for Chip & PIN. Can I still accept signature Cards?
A. Yes, you should accept all Cards, regardless of whether they’re Chip & PIN or not. If a customer presents a Card without a chip, or with a chip but no PIN, swipe it and your terminal will then request a signature.
Q. If someone wants to pay with a JCB credit card, what do I do?
A. If your business has been set up to accept JCB payments (refer to your American Express contract), simply process the transaction the same way as an American Express Card transaction.
Q. The Card has no chip on it. What should I do?
A. Swipe the Card. Your terminal will then prompt you for the Cardmember’s signature.
Q. A Cardmember claims not to know, or to have forgotten their PIN. Should I proceed?
A. You may proceed if you wish, but cautiously. Select ‘PIN bypass’ and your terminal will let you know whether the Card issuer will allow the Cardmember to sign.
If PIN bypass is allowed: provided you have followed the correct authorisation and signature checking procedures, you’ll not be liable if the transaction turns out to be fraudulent.
If PIN bypass is not allowed: the transaction will be declined, and you must not allow the Cardmember to sign. If you do, you’ll be liable if the transaction turns out to be fraudulent.
As a rule of thumb, always follow the instructions given to you by your terminal.
Q. How does American Express pay my business?
A. We pay you the net amount we owe you. How do we arrive at this amount? We deduct the Discount Rate on each transaction, prior to settlement, rather than asking for payment at the end of the month. We may also offset any adjustments to your account, such as credits, refunds or Chargebacks.
Q. When does American Express pay my business?
A. To find out when we pay your business, please consult your Merchant Payment Plan or call our Customer Care Professionals on 0800 800 855 (Monday-Friday, 9.00am-6.00pm).
Q. Does American Express offset any adjustments to my account?
A. Yes, we may offset any adjustments like credits, refunds or Chargebacks prior to settlement.
Q. When will I need to pay?
A. There may be times when your account is in debit. Reasons for this may include:
- Refunds you have made to Cardmembers.
- Outstanding fees.
- A Chargeback debited to your account after a Cardmember dispute.
Q. How do I settle any money I owe American Express?
A. We’ll deduct what you owe us from the next payment(s) we make to your business. Where we consider that those payments are not sufficient to clear the outstanding amount, we’ll contact you to make other arrangements for settlement.
Q. What is a dispute?
A. A dispute happens when a Cardmember notifies American Express about a charge on their statement which they don’t recognise and requests further information.
Q. What is a Chargeback?
A. A Chargeback happens after an investigation of a dispute, where we debit your account by the amount of the disputed transaction and credit the Cardmember.
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 a ‘Request for Information Letter’. In certain circumstances, we make a Chargeback without sending a Request for Information letter. For example, with Merchants who receive a lot of disputes, or conduct transactions in what we consider to be risky business environments. If any enquiry results in a Chargeback to your account, we will notify you accordingly.
Q. What is a Request for Information Letter?
A. When we’re unable to resolve a dispute using our own data, we may send you a ‘Request for Information 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. What do I do when I receive a Request for Information Letter?
A. Please respond by either post or fax to the address or fax number indicated on the letter, with all required details, before the reply-by date given. If we do not hear from you by that date, regretfully we will have to deduct the amount of the transaction from your Merchant account and then close the dispute.
Q. What happens once I have responded to the Request for Information Letter?
A. Provided you have sent us everything we requested, we will investigate the dispute further. Depending upon the result of our investigation, we’ll either ask the Cardmember to pay the charge, or debit the amount ( Chargeback ) from your account.
Please note, we always make a Chargeback if:
- You do not send us all the information outlined in the Request for Information letter.
- You do not respond to the ‘Request for Information Letter’ by the date indicated on the letter.
- You re-submit a charge, after the dispute related to it has been resolved in favour of the Cardmember.
Q. How do I avoid disputes and Chargebacks?
A. There are steps you can take to minimise the chances of a dispute and Chargeback happening. For example, you should:
- Keep all records of sales and charges.
- Ensure your trading name appears correctly on the Cardmember’s statement. To check the trading name we are quoting on statements is correct, call our Merchant Customer Services team.
- 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 policies for returns of damaged or unwanted goods and cancellations.
- Check every Card carefully. Make sure it hasn’t been altered or damaged and has not expired. If it’s not a Chip & PIN Card, ensure the signature matches against the one on the Card.
- Never split a charge to avoid your floor limit, or to skip authorisation altogether.
Q. Who can I contact about a dispute or Chargeback?
A. Call our Customer Care Professionals on 0800 800 855 (Monday-Friday 9.00am – 6.00pm) for further information.
Q. What is Reconcile Payments?
A. Online Merchant Services - Reconcile Payments is a facility which provides American Express Merchants with access to their submission and payment data online. It will also allow merchants to print Tax Invoices. Merchants who receive payments (for their own submissions, and/or for submissions from other branches within their group) will be able to see full payment-related information online. Merchants who submit, but who do not receive their own payments (for instance if they belong to a centrally paid group), will be able to view their own submission information.
Q. Am I eligible for Reconcile Payments?
A. We do not grant access to online information to Merchants who:
- Are paid by cheque. In this case, we would suggest you sign up to receive payments directly into your bank account, then we’ll be able to provide you with your data online.
- Are currently in a debit balance situation (owe American Express money). In this case, we would encourage you to apply again when the debit balance has been cleared.
- Have cancelled their agreement with us. If you have recently terminated your agreement with us, or if we have terminated it, then we will not be able to provide you with any information online.
- Submit and get paid in any currency other than New Zealand dollars. In this case we’ll advise you, and follow up with you in order to provide you with online data for currencies other than New Zealand dollars.
Q. What are the benefits of reconciling my payments online?
A. You will be able to see your payment information faster and more frequently than you currently do! This resource will allow you to view your payment information online up to 2 days before the funds reach your bank account. You will also be able to download your financial information into spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft®Excel for more customised analysis.
In addition, you will be able to see if we have received your most recent submissions (usually the day after you have sent them to us for payment). You need to use the ‘View Pending Submissions’ option to do this.
Q. Can I produce a Tax Invoice online?
A. Yes, you can view and print Tax Invoices online through Online Merchant Services.
Q. Is there a fee for reconciling my payments online?
A. There is no fee for this service. In fact, if you enrol for Online Merchant Services, you’ll automatically switch to paperless statements, saving you $5.00 per statement (the amount we charge for issuing paper statements).
Q. Will reconciling payments online affect my American Express service fee?
A. No. Reconciling your payments online will have no impact on your American Express service fee.
Q. Will reconciling payments online affect the time in which I receive payment from American Express?
A. No. Reconciling your payments online will have no impact on the time in which you receive payment for American Express charges.
Q. How long after I sign up to reconcile my payments online will I be able to access my data?
A. Once you specify your American Express Online Services User ID and Password and the enrolment process is complete, your financial data will be available to you.
Q. Does signing up to reconcile my payments online automatically discontinue hard copy (paper) or soft copy (email) Merchant statements?
A. Yes. Starting with your next Merchant statement, all financial information will now come to you through your online access only.
Q. How much payment reconciliation data will be available online?
A. You are able to view the latest 13 months of payment reconciliation data online. You can also view the last 13 months of payment reconciliation data by running a report and/or downloading the data into a spreadsheet (for example, Microsoft® Excel).
Q. How far back can Tax Invoices be produced from this online product?
A. You can view up to 13 months data on Online Merchant Services.
Q. What kind of internet browser will I need to reconcile my payments online?
A. You will need Netscape® Navigator, Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5.01, or America Online version 4.0 or higher. As of June 1999, version 5.01 will be required to reconcile your payments online.
Q. How can I access all my accounts with one User ID?
A. To view payment data for multiple locations, all you need to do is enrol your Head Office American Express merchant number. To do this you will need to create a new ID and password, enter your Head Office merchant account number and banking information. Your Head Office will now be able to view financial data for each location in the chain.
Q. Why should I resolve my customer disputes online?
A. By receiving and responding to customer disputes online, you can save time and money, as well as reduce the risk of ‘no reply’ Chargebacks that can occur because of mail delays or misplaced dispute letters.
Q. How does resolving disputes online differ from doing so through the mail?
A. In both cases, you are provided the same time to reply and can send supporting materials by either fax or mail. Receiving a notification via email is much faster than surface mail and as a result provides you with a longer period of time in which to respond.
Q. Can I track my customer disputes online even if my business has multiple locations?
A. Yes. You can use your online account to resolve customer disputes for all of your locations. When you access the service, you are given the opportunity to select the dispute and the location within your organisation you wish to manage.
Q. Does resolving my customer disputes online automatically mean I will no longer receive paper customer dispute letters?
A. Yes, this information will now be provided to you through online access only.
Q. How long after I sign up to resolve customer disputes online will I be able to access my data?
A. Once you have set up your American Express Online Services User ID and password during the enrolment process, you may begin viewing your online disputes and Chargebacks upon your first login. If you are already enrolled to Online Merchant Services and are simply adding this service to your existing User ID, you may begin viewing your data immediately.
Q. What is a customer dispute?
A. A customer dispute is a notification you receive whenever a Cardmember enquires about a charge from your business. To find enquiries that have been sent to you, click on the ‘Search Disputes or Chargebacks’ link and select a case to see further details.
Q. What should I do with a customer dispute?
A. You must respond to each customer dispute you receive by the date indicated on the Disputes Detail page. You can choose to issue a full refund, no refund or a partial one. By choosing to issue a full refund, you can either authorise a Chargeback or issue a credit to the Cardmember for the full disputed amount. If you choose to issue no refund, you are contesting the dispute. If you choose to issue a partial refund, you can authorise a partial credit to the Cardmember.
Q. How much time do I have to respond to a customer dispute?
A. The amount of time you have to respond varies by the type of Dispute. For each dispute, check the Reply by Date section found on the main Disputes Detail page to see how much time you have to respond.
Q. What should I do if I can't respond immediately?
A. After reviewing the dispute, go to the Dispute Search Results. However, you must still respond by the final date indicated. Cases to which you must respond in fewer than seven days will be displayed in red on the Dispute List.
Q. What if I don't respond in time?
A. If you do not respond to a customer dispute by the date indicated, you may be subject to a Chargeback for the full disputed amount.
Q. What does it mean to agree with a customer dispute?
A. Agreeing to a customer dispute means that you are either authorising a Chargeback or issuing a credit to the Cardmember for the full disputed amount.
Q. What should I do if I agree with a customer dispute?
A. Select ‘Continue with Full Refund’ on the Disputes Detail page. When the Response page appears, choose a Response Code and provide the required information. You must click ‘Send Response’ when you are finished. There is no further action that you need to take, other than issuing the credit to the Cardmember.
Q. How do I respond to a dispute when a credit for the full disputed amount has been or will be issued?
A. If issuing a credit, you must enter your response and issue the credit through your terminal. Select ‘Continue with Full Refund’ on the Disputes Detail page. When the Response page appears, choose Response Code 08 - Issuing Credit. Click ‘Send Response’ when you are finished.
Q. What is a Response Code?
A. A Response Code is a designation established by American Express to define the action you intend to take, or have already taken, regarding a customer dispute. You must select a Response Code in order to submit your response to a customer dispute.
Q. What happens after I send my ‘Issue Full Refund’ response?
A. You will be automatically directed to the Thank You page. This page provides all the details of the customer dispute as well as your response to it. You should print this page for your records.
Q. Can I make changes after I click ‘Send Response’?
A. No. Once you have sent your response, no changes can be made online. However, if you wish to make any changes to the response you will need to contact our Customer Care Professionals on 0800 800 855 (Monday-Friday 8.30am-6.00pm).
Q. What does it mean to disagree with a customer dispute by issuing no refund?
A. Disagreeing with a dispute allows you to contest it should you feel that no refund is owed. You must provide supporting documentation in order to disagree with a customer dispute.
Q. What should I do if I disagree with a customer dispute and want to issue no refund?
A. You should select ‘Continue with no refund’ on the Disputes Detail page. When the Response Page appears, choose a Response Code and provide the requested supporting documentation. You must click ‘Send Response’ when you are finished.
Q. What supporting documentation should I send?
A. You should send documents that sustain your position of disagreeing with the customer dispute. The support documents you will need to send vary by the Case Type. Refer to the Support Documentation Required field under the Reason for a Dispute section in the Disputes Detail page for the most acceptable supporting documentation.
Q. How should I send my supporting documentation?
A. You can fax or mail your supporting documents. When mailing, create a cover sheet by choosing Create a Facsimile Cover Sheet on the Thank You page. Print this cover sheet and include it with your supporting materials when you mail them. When faxing, print the same cover previously mentioned, then fax this cover sheet along with your supporting documents.
Q. What does it mean to disagree with a customer dispute by issuing a partial refund?
A. Disagreeing with a dispute allows you to authorise a partial refund of the disputed charge amount to the Cardmember. You must provide additional supporting documentation to disagree with a customer dispute.
Q. What should I do if I disagree with a customer dispute and want to issue a partial refund?
A. You should select ‘Continue with a Partial Refund’ on the Disputes Detail page. When the Response page appears, choose a Response Code and provide the requested supporting documentation. You must click ‘Send Response’ when you’re finished.
Q. What supporting documentation should I send?
A. You should send documents that support your position of disagreeing with the customer dispute. The supporting documents you will need to send vary by the Case Type. Refer to the Supporting Documentation Required field in the Disputes Detail page for the most acceptable examples.
Q. What is fraud, and how does it affect me?
A. Fraud takes many forms, like stolen and counterfeit Cards, for example. These days, it’s likely you’ll have to deal with attempted fraud at some point, so it’s important you recognise the telltale 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 Customer Care Professionals on 0800 800 855 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am- 6.00pm). When prompted, select "Authorisations", then "Code 10 or Security Check". We’ll need your Merchant number, and the Card account number.
Q. How can I avoid fraudulent transactions?
A. Vigilance is most important in avoiding fraudulent activity, whichever type of transaction you are dealing with.
When you are face-to-face with the customer:
- 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.
When the customer is not with you (mail, telephone or internet orders):
- Only send merchandise to the billing address on the Card, and obtain signed proof of delivery.
- Make sure your online checkout is secure, with industry-standard encryption.
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 materials as well as marketing support programmes.
Q. Who can I contact to get further details on CPC?
A. If you’d like to know more about American Express CPC, email email@example.com or call 01273 60 70 00.
Q. Who can I contact for CPC technical details?
A. If you are having any difficulties, please call the CPC Technical Help Desk on 1800 400 505 if you are using an American Express Acceptance device. Alternatively you can call our Customer Care Professionals on 0800 800 855 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 6.00pm) if you are using a bank’s device.
Q. Can I accept other Purchasing Card customers?
A. Yes. You are not restricted to just one customer. Please contact our Corporate Purchasing Solutions Customer Service team for more details on 01273 607 000.
Q. When will I receive payment from American Express?
A. You’ll receive payment within three banking days from the time we receive your transaction. Consult your payment plan for full details.
Q. How do I submit a payment on a CPC?
A. If you require further information, please contact our Corporate Purchasing Solutions Customer Services team on 01273 607 000.
Q. When should I charge my client’s CPC?
A. Within one day of dispatching goods, or supplying a service to your customer. Please keep to this rule rigidly, as late billing can delay your customer’s reconciliation.
Q. How can American Express help me reconcile my payments?
A. You may prefer to reconcile your payment by managing your account online, using our Online Merchant Services (OMS). This offers you quick, secure access to your statement. For more information call our Customer Care Professionals on 0800 800 855 (Monday – Friday, 9.00am -6.00pm).
Q. My business has been transferred to a new legal entity. Will this affect my CPC account?
A. It’s likely you’ll need to complete a new application for your new legal entity. To find out, please contact our Purchasing Card Customer Services team on 01273 607 000.
Q. How do I inform you of a change to my company’s bank details?
A. Download the maintenance form from our website and fax it back with the necessary documentation after you have filled it in.
Q. A CPC transaction has been declined? Why has this occurred?
A. This could have happened for a number of reasons:
- The Card has been cancelled, or expired.
- The Card limit has been exceeded.
- Your business is not yet on your customer’s list of suppliers.
Please contact our Customer Care Professionals on 0800 800 855 (24 hours daily). They will identify the issue for you & advise you of next steps.
Q. How do I process Travellers Cheques?
A. To authorise a cheque, follow the steps below:
- Watch your customer countersign the cheque(s), and then compare their signature with the original one to ensure they match.
- Ensure you have a valid cheque by examining the security features. Click here for examples
- Check for any obvious signs of alteration to the cheque or the original signature.
Alternatively, you can obtain authorisation by calling 0800 441 068. Or online, at www.americanexpress.com/verifyamextc (where you’ll also find a link to our acceptance procedures). Please note, both services are automated. Registration is required for first time users when you obtain online authorisation. To register please call 0800 441 665.
Q. How do I validate security features?
A. While holding the cheque to the light, view the Centurion watermark in the white area and the 'AMEX' security thread in the middle area, and ensure they’re both visible from the front and back of the Travellers Cheque. View the holographic foil at various angles to verify denomination, and view image and colour changes between Centurion and American Express logo. Ensure the cheque has not been visibly altered and/or manipulated.
Q. How do I process Travellers Cheques issued in a foreign currency?
A. Travellers Cheques presented in a foreign currency should be viewed as foreign notes. Should you choose to accept Travellers Cheques in a foreign currency, you’ll need to determine the exchange rate and convert the transaction. Contact your bank for further details.
Q. Can I deposit Travellers Cheques with my bank?
A. Most banks accept American Express Travellers Cheques. Please contact your bank to check for their specific conditions.
Q. Do I give change in cash?
A. Yes. In the same way as you would for bank notes. And, as with bank notes, be wary of high-value Travellers Cheques being used for a low-value purchase.
Q. What if I don't see each Travellers Cheque being countersigned?
A. Ask the customer to repeat their signature on the back of each cheque.
Q. What is the Data Security Operating Policy?
A. It’s an American Express policy with which all Merchants, Processors, and Service Providers that store, process or transmit American Express Cardmember information must comply. This policy has been strengthened 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 which are applicable across the industry.
Q. Who does the Data Security Operating Policy apply to?
A. It applies to all entities (Merchants and Service Providers) who process, store or transmit Cardmember information. Its requirements apply to all equipment, systems and networks on which American Express Cardmember information is processed, stored or transmitted.
Q. Why is the Data Security Operating Policy important to my business?
A. Compromised data can have a negative impact on your business, to other Merchants and card issuers. Even one incident can severely damage a company's reputation and its ability to conduct business effectively. Addressing this threat by implementing security operating procedures can make your customers feel more secure and enhance the reputation of your business.
Q. Why should my business comply with Data Security Operating Policy?
A. The Data Security Operating Policy is a sound business practice and a requirement of American Express. By accepting American Express Cards, you agree to be bound to terms and conditions of our Card Acceptance Agreement, which includes data security requirements and mandates compliance with American Express policies and procedures.
Q. Does the Data Security Operating Policy still apply to me if I do not store Cardmember information?
A. Yes, the policy still applies to any of your equipment, systems, and networks that transmit or process Cardmember information.
Q. Can a Merchant or Service Provider be considered compliant if it has outstanding non-compliance issues?
A. We encourage Merchants and Service Providers to complete an initial review, develop a remediation plan, complete items on the remediation plan, and revalidate compliance of those outstanding items. This plan can be submitted to American Express for review until full compliance can be achieved. If American Express accepts the plan, in its sole discretion, it can choose not to impose the non-validation fees for a Merchant's failure to provide the documentation validating its compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard. A Merchant may still remain liable for fraud as a result of a security compromise.
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 and Service Providers to comply with one set of data security technical standards. The Data Security Operating Policy defines the levels, requirements and validation deadline for American Express.
Q. I've been contacted by a company called Trustwave on behalf of American Express. I don't know who this Trustwave company is, and this sounds like a phishing scam. How do I know this isn't a scam?
A. American Express has retained Trustwave to help us administer our Data Security Compliance Program. Trustwave is a leading provider of information security and compliance management solutions to Merchants and Service Providers. We are glad you're checking up on this - we can assure you that this company is reputable and will adhere to all American Express privacy principles.
Q. Can I use another company other than Trustwave to conduct the required assessment and/or scans?
A. Yes. You may use any of the approved vendors listed at www.pcisecuritystandards.org/qsa_asv/find_one.shtml
Q. If I used another company to conduct my scan, do I have to provide it to Trustwave?
A. Yes, it will be necessary for you or your chosen authorised security vendor to submit this information to Trustwave. Trustwave has been contracted and authorised to collect this information on behalf of American Express.
Q. May I submit my validation documentation directly to Trustwave?
A. Yes, you may submit your validation documentation to Trustwave via our secure portal. Send an email to Trustwave at AmericanExpressCompliance@trustwave.com and request a customised link to the secure portal. Uploading your validation documentation is quick and easy.
Q. How will I know if my Merchant Account is eligible?
A. The criteria that we use to assess the eligibility of your Establishments are:
- Your Establishment currently accepts Card Present Charges (excluding Establishments that only conduct Internet, mail or telephone orders)
- Your Establishment is not in an industry that we consider “high risk”. See below list of “high risk” industries.
- Your Establishment is not on our Fraud Full Recourse Program, or
- There is no other reason that we would consider your Establishment to be ineligible for No Signature.
Q. What do you consider to be “high risk” industries?
A. We consider high risk industries, as follows:
- Auction Sales
- Bail Bondsman
- Cardmember Activated Terminals (such as Road Tolls, Car Parking Stations and Garages, Petrol Pumps, Cinema Kiosks, and Railway Self-Service Ticketing)
- Detective Agencies
- Door to Door Sales
- Financial Services
- Internet Electronic Services
- Night Clubs
- Online Pharmacies
- Payment Service Providers (Aggregators)
- Personal Services
- Telecommunications (Cellular Products/Services, Premium Rate Telephone Services and Telecommunications Calling Cards)