Q. American Express? Do my customers carry it?
A. American Express is increasingly becoming a popular Card with consumers, small businesses and corporates. With a strong loyalty program, and a high quality customer base, American Express Cardmembers are high spenders, with their average monthly spend on plastic being 64% higher than non-cardmembers1 . Our growing base of Cardholders is being enabled through Australia’s major banks who are now issuing American Express Cards and our partnerships with major retailers. When you put this together with our strong Corporate Card presence and our traditional Consumer Cards, it means there’s a more diverse and larger range of people who carry our Cards.
Q. My competitors don’t take it. Why should I?
A. American Express Cardmembers have been proven to have higher transaction values and spend more frequently2. This is supported by a strong loyalty program. 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. 17% would go out of their way to visit establishments that accept their American Express Card. 51% would be influenced in their choice of where to shop or dine if they accept their Card. 60% of Cardmembers find out about Card acceptance by looking for Point of Purchase material at the establishment1.
Q. How quickly am I paid for my American Express transactions?
A. If you bank with ANZ, CBA, NAB or Westpac, we will pay you before 9am on the day your payment is due*. To find out when we pay your business, please consult your Merchant Payment Plan. If you can’t find your Merchant Payment Plan, call our Customer Care Professionals on 1300 363 614 (Monday – Friday, 8.00am – 6.00pm) to request a new one.
*Refer to business days only (excluding public holidays).
Q. Why do you pay net? Other Card issuers don’t.
A. Net payments means we simply pay for the American Express charges, less the amount of the Discount Rate or Merchant Service fee. For many Merchants this is a simpler & easier way of doing business which means we are not regularly deducting fees from your bank account. We provide online or paper based reporting which 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. There is no better advertising for these customers than placing the American Express decal or other Point of Purchase materials within your business. 60% of Cardmembers find out about Card acceptance by looking for Point of Purchase material at the establishment1. In addition, we offer a variety of products and services to help you attract more Cardmembers including, in some cases, marketing support programs.
Q. I am already an American Express Merchant. How do I find my Merchant number?
A. Your ten digit Merchant number can be found on the top left hand side of your statement or on your ‘Merchant Welcome Pack’. If you do not have these, please call our Customer Care Professionals on 1300 363 614 (Monday – Friday, 8.00am -6.00pm).
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 1300 363 614 (Monday-Friday 8.00am-6.00pm).
Q. I have other business locations that I would like to accept American Express Cards at. What do I need to do?
A. Call our Customer Care Professionals on 1300 363 614 (Monday-Friday, 8.00am-6.00pm).
Q. How do I ensure my terminal accepts American Express Cards?
A. 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. Call our Customer Care Professionals on 1300 363 614 (Monday-Friday, 8.00am-6.00pm). 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 1300 363 614 (Monday-Friday, 8.00am-6.00pm). 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, process it as normal and 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 as a American Express Card transaction. To have JCB set up on your Merchant facility, call our Customer Care Professionals on 1300 363 614 (Monday-Friday, 8.00am-6.00pm).
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 for the transaction.
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.What does ‘PINwise’mean?
A. PINwise is an Australian industry initiative (American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Diners and Bank partners) to reduce fraud for credit and debit card transactions by removing signature and replacing it with a PIN (Personal Identification Number) as a valid form of identification verification.
Q. When will a PIN be required for customers?
A. From 1st August, 2014 in Australia card holders with PIN enabled cards will need to use their PIN as payment verification. Card terminals will gradually be upgraded to remove the ability for a chip and PIN card to request signature as a form of transaction verification.
Q. In what situations would customers not have to use a PIN?
A. There may be some circumstances where PIN is not required including:
· Contactless payments under $100 in Australia and under $80 in New Zealand.
· Low value payments (under $35) at some merchants.
· Most transactions from unattended terminals (e.g. vending machines and parking meters)
· Tourists or anyone with a non-Australian or New Zealand domestic issued card may not require a PIN.
· Some cards may be issued with Chip and Signature verification only.
If in doubt, insert or swipe your customer’s card as usual and follow the terminal prompts to complete the transaction.
Q. What happens if a customer is a tourist and does not have a PIN?
A. The customer will still be able to use their card. They will need to follow the terminal prompts and use signature for verification.
Q. What happens if a customer forgets their PIN?
A. If a customer types in the wrong PIN three times into the terminal, their card may become locked. The customer should contact their bank or financial institution to obtain instructions on how to unlock their card.
Q. How can a customer get or check if they have a PIN?
A. The customer’s bank or card issuer will provide them with a PIN for their credit, charge or debit card. If they have forgotten their PIN, the card issuer can provide them with another PIN upon request. Different card issuers have different processes for changing a PIN. It is best for the customer to contact their bank or card issuer directly.
Q. Is PIN verification a requirement only for American Express?
A. No, this is a requirement for most Australian financial institutions that issue American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Diners Cards.
Q. If I run a cafe/bar/restaurant how do I get a ‘pay-at-table’ terminal?
A. If you would like to know more about these types of terminals and how to get them installed, please contact your terminal provider.
Q. Will PIN’s be used to make transactions over the phone?
A. PIN is only applicable when a customer is physically present at the point of sale during the purchase or cash-out transaction
Q. What steps do I need to take to upgrade my terminal to support PIN and remove PIN bypass functionality to signature?
A. Contact your terminal provider to support you with upgrading your terminal.
What is Chip technology?
A. Instead of being swiped using a magnetic stripe to communicate its payment information, the Chip card is inserted into a terminal and remains there throughout the transaction. The Chip stores the issuer's authorisation rules electronically and checks the cardholder's PIN as a means of verification. Chip cards allow for the option of Contactless transactions and are more difficult to counterfeit than magnetic stripe cards.
Q. What does it mean to have ‘Contactless’ capability?
A. Contactless technology allows for transactions under $100 in Australia and under $80 in New Zealand to be made without a PIN or signature. The card contains a Chip which securely transmits information to and from the Contactless reader.
Q. What steps do I need to take to upgrade my terminal to support Chip and Contactless functionality?
A. Contact your terminal provider. They will be able to support you with upgrading your terminal to support Chip and Contactless transactions.
Q. How do I process Contactless transactions?
A. Check that the customer’s card has a Contactless symbol on the card. When the transaction amount is shown on the Contactless terminal, hold the card against the reader. The terminal will indicate it has read the chip and also when the transaction is approved.
Q. What is the Contactless limit for Australia & New Zealand?
A. A limit of $100 applies in Australia and $80 in New Zealand. If a Contactless card is presented for a transaction above the amount your customer can still use their card by tapping it on the terminal, but they will be prompted to enter their PIN or use signature verification.
Q. What are the benefits of Contactless payment?
A. The speed and convenience of Contactless payments reduces queuing, limiting walk-outs and clearing up floor space.
Q. How do I know that only one transaction has been processed when tapping the card?
A. You can only pay once for any transaction. The terminal will not accept two payments for one purchase.
Q. If I don’t have Contactless payment capability can I still process a customer’s transaction?
A. Process the transaction as normal and follow the terminal prompts for the customer to input their PIN.
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 or Merchant Service Fee on each transaction, prior to settlement rather than asking you 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. If you bank with Westpac, NAB, CBA or ANZ and submit your transactions by 7pm (AEST/AEDT), you may be eligible to receive your money in your account early the next business day.
Please be aware, if your establishment is in one of the following industries you will not be eligible for next day pay:
- Airlines, Cruise and Ferry companies
- Auction Houses
- Escort/Introduction/Detective Agencies
- Financial Service providers
- Taxis and Limousine Services
- Telecommunication providers
- Travel Agencies
- Merchants using unattended terminals.
Q. Where can I find a copy of the American Express Card Acceptance Terms & Conditions
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. If you submit monthly transactions, we’ll deduct what you owe us from the next payment(s) we make to your business. In situations 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 My Merchant Account/Online Merchant Services (OMS)?
A. My Merchant Account/OMS enables you to manage your account via the Internet. Once enrolled, you can view your statement quickly and securely, whenever you need to.
Q. Why should I manage my account online?
A. It enables you to:
- View, and download your statement whenever you need to.
- Export your statement to a spreadsheet application, for further analysis.
- Easily find date, or Card number-specific settlements, transactions, adjustments or Chargebacks on your account.
- View financial data for all your branches with one User ID, making it easier if your payments are reconciled centrally.
- View, and respond to Disputes.
Q. Do you charge for My Merchant Account/OMS?
A. No. In fact, if you become an American Express Merchant and enrol for Online Merchant Services, you will automatically be switched to paperless statements. The benefits are that you can view your statement quickly and securely, whenever you need to and it is also more environmentally friendly.
Q. What are the minimum technical requirements for using My Merchant Account/OMS?
A. You’ll need Microsoft® Internet Explorer version 4.0, Netscape® Navigator or America Online version 4.0 or higher. You may use either an IBM-compatible, or Apple Macintosh® personal computer, that can run any of the above browsers. For optimum viewing, we recommend using a modem of 14.4 kbps, or higher.
Q. Can my employees have a different username and password for my account(s)?
A. Yes, you can have more than one User ID and password for your account, so every employee using OMS can have separate access to the same account.
Q. How far back does my online statement go?
A. Your current statement shows you up to 35 days’ activity. Plus your last 13 month’s activity is also available, if you require it. You also have the option to print and file your statements.
Q. Can I export my financial data for further analysis?
A. Yes, you can export your statement details into spreadsheet applications like Microsoft® Excel.
Q. Can I view individual transactions online?
A. Yes. You can easily view amount, date range, or Card number-specific transactions.
Q. Can I monitor disputed transactions using My Merchant Account/OMS?
A. Yes. You can monitor Cardmember Disputes via OMS. Once you are aware of a disputed transaction, you can easily locate it by entering the amount, date or Card number into the search box.
Q. What are Reconcile Payments?
A. Reconcile Payments is a facility, which provides American Express Merchants access to their submission and payment data online. It also allows 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, which makes tracking submissions easier.
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 will 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 your agreement with us has recently been terminated, then we will not be able to provide you with any information online.
- Submit and get paid in any currency other than Australian dollars. In this case we’ll advise you and later provide you online data portals for currencies other than Australian dollars.
Q. What are the benefits of reconciling my payments online?
A. You’ll be able to view payment information faster and more frequently. This resource allows you to access payment information online, up to two days before the funds reach your bank account. You’ll also be able to download your financial information into spreadsheet applications like Microsoft® Excel for analysis.In addition, you’ll be able to see if we have received your most recent submissions (usually the day after you have sent them to us for payment). To do this, you need to use the ‘View Pending Submissions’ option.
Q. Can I produce a Tax Invoice online?
A. Yes, you can view and print Tax Invoices online.
Q. Is there a fee for reconciling my payments online?
A. There is no fee for this service.
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 payments from American Express?
A. No. Reconciling your payments online will have no impact on the time in which you receive payments for American Express charges.
Q. How long will it take to access data once I’ve signed up to reconcile my payments online?
A. Once your enrolment process is completed, your financial data will be available to you immediately.
Q. Does signing up to reconcile my payments online automatically discontinue hard copy (paper) or soft copy (email) payment statements?
A. Yes, starting with your next Merchant statement, all financial information will now come to you through online access only.
Q. How much payment reconciliation data will be available online?
A. You’re able to view the latest 13 months of payment reconciliation data online. You can also view it by running a report and/or downloading the data into a spreadsheet (for example; Microsoft® Excel).
Q. How far back can online Tax Invoices be produced?
A. Up to 13 months data can be provided through My Merchant Account/OMS.
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. The Head Office account will then 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 due to 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 fax or mail. Receiving a notification online is much faster than via 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 resolve customer disputes for all of your locations. When you access the service, you’re given the opportunity to select the locations within your organisation for which you wish to manage disputes.
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 will it take to access data once I’ve signed up to customer disputes online?
A. Once you’re enrolled, you may begin viewing your online disputes and Chargebacks upon your first log in. If you are already enrolled into My Merchant Account/OMS 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. 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 Dispute 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’re 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 depending on the type of dispute. Check the main Dispute Detail page and the Reply by Date section for each dispute 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 you must respond to within 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’re either authorising a Chargeback or issuing a credit to the Cardmember for the full disputed amount.
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 Dispute Detail page. When the Response page appears, choose Response Code 08 - Issuing Credit. Click ‘Send Response’ when you’re finished.
Q. What is a Response Code?
A. A Response Code is a designation used 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’ll automatically be 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. If you wish to make any changes to the response, you’ll need to contact our Customer Care Professionals on 1300 363 614 (Monday – Friday, 8.00am-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 the dispute should you feel 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 Dispute 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 sustaining your disagreement with the Customer Dispute. The supporting documents you will need to send vary by Case Type. Refer to the Supporting Documentation Required field under the Reason for a Dispute section in the Disputes Detail page for the most acceptable examples.
Q. How should I send my supporting documentation?
A. You can fax, mail or submit online 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 faxing, print the same cover sheet and fax it 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 when disagreeing 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 ‘Dispute Detail’ page. When the ‘Response page’ appears, choose a ‘Response Code’ and provide the requested support documentation. You must click ‘Send Response’ when you are finished.
Q. What supporting documentation should I send?
A. You should send documents sustaining your disagreement with the customer dispute. The documents you 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. Log onto our My Merchant Account/OMS now.
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 where, after investigation of a dispute, 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 post, or fax it to the 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, 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 returns policy for damaged or unwanted goods, and cancellation policy.
- 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 team on 1300 363 614 (Monday-Friday, 8.00am-6.00pm) for further information.
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 is important that 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 1300 363 614(24 hours, 7 days a week). 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’re 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 Point of Purchase materials.
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 that 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 1800 688 022, or go online at americanexpress.com/verifyamextc (where you’ll also find a link to our acceptance procedures). Please note that both services are automated. Registration is required by a first time user. To register please call us on 1800 022 044 (Monday-Friday, 8.00am-6.00pm).
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 with 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, 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
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 (TW). TW 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:
Cardmember Activated Terminals (such as Road Tolls, Car Parking Stations and Garages, Petrol Pumps, Cinema Kiosks, and Railway Self-Service Ticketing)
Door to Door Sales
Internet Electronic Services
Payment Service Providers (Aggregators)
[FOR AUSTRALIA ONLY: Taxis]
Telecommunications (Cellular Products/Services, Premium Rate Telephone Services and Telecommunications Calling Cards)