Voluntary Commitments and Codes of Conduct
Voluntary codes of conduct are non-legislated commitments which some organizations/industries such as Amex Bank of Canada voluntarily agree to follow; they generally outline the standards that consumers can expect from such organizations/industries.
The banking industry has developed and is committed to several voluntary codes designed to protect consumers. Amex Bank of Canada is committed to the following codes of conduct:
Amex Bank of Canada has committed not to charge consumers to receive regular monthly credit card statements. Please note that a fee may apply for a statement reprint request. Please see your Cardmember Agreement, Information Box and Disclosure Statement for details of any statement reprint fee.
This Code of Conduct supports transparency, fair business practices and choice for Canadian merchants. The Code was introduced in May 2010, by the Minister of Finance. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) subsequently issued Commissioner’s Guidance #10, #15 and #16, to help ensure that merchants are able to benefit fully from the principles set out in the Code. American Express is committed to and supports the Code of Conduct and Commissioner’s Guidance.
The Code of Conduct provides guidance for Payment Card Network Operators (PCNOs), Acquirers and Card Issuers in Canada. American Express in Canada, operates as a PCNO, an Acquirer and a Bank Card Issuer.
The American Express approach to merchant pricing reflects:
- Transparency and Consistency. Our merchant discount rates are transparent, simple and consistent across all of our credit and charge card products.
- No Interchange. American Express does not operate an interchange system in which interchange rates paid to card issuers are set centrally and applied to all issuers; rather, Issuers’ Rates are agreed with each issuing partner bilaterally.
- Simple Pricing Structure. We do not operate a structure of multiple interchange rates that vary based on a complex set of criteria with the result that the merchant pays more for one card than another and has difficulty understanding the true cost of card acceptance.
- Value. American Express merchant pricing is and always has been based on the value we deliver to merchants.
American Express rates are generally based on a merchant’s industry, annual American Express charge volume, transaction channel and, in some cases, transaction size. The merchant receives a lower discount rate for prepaid cards and a reduction in the merchant discount rate for corporate purchasing cards, when the merchant provides enhanced transaction data. American Express does not have product-based pricing for our credit and charge cards; our merchants pay the same discount rate for transactions regardless of the type of American Express credit or charge card that is presented. See our voluntary Commitment to the Government of Canada – November 4, 2014 for more information.
As an Acquirer, American Express provides merchant services, merchant statements and payments to merchants who have signed up to accept American Express Cards directly with American Express. If you are a merchant who obtains services directly from American Express and have questions about merchant pricing, please contact American Express at 1-800-268-9877.
As a PCNO, American Express has authorized third party Acquirers to contract and work with merchants to accept American Express Cards through a third party Acquiring program known as the OptBlue® Program. Authorized third party Acquirers pay American Express fees including Acquiring Network Assessment Fees to take part in the program and for the transmission of transactions through the American Express Network. American Express Acquiring Network Assessment Fees are not charged directly by American Express to merchants, but may factor in to the pricing set by authorized third party Acquirers with merchants. If you are a merchant that obtains merchant services, merchant statements and payments through a third party Acquirer, contact the Acquirer with whom you have signed your Merchant Agreement for more information about your merchant pricing. If you are interested to know the Acquiring Network Assessment Fees that American Express charges your OptBlue service provider, visit www.americanexpress.ca/optblue and log-in.
This commitment sets out the American Express approach to merchant pricing.
Amex Bank of Canada (Amex) will accept power of attorney forms submitted to us by consumers. We will generally review a power of attorney request received within 72 business hours. If additional time is required, we will advise the customer or attorney that we need additional time to review.
For card accounts, an original or copy of the power of attorney document(s) can be provided via fax or by mail. Please contact us for assistance. The attorney will have authority to receive information about the account and provide certain limited instructions based on our fraud and authentication policies. However, we do not provide an additional card or open card accounts for an attorney, nor can the attorney make any purchases on the Cardmember’s account.
For existing deposit accounts, an original of the power of attorney document can be provided only by mail. Once we review the power of attorney document, the attorney will have authority to provide us with instructions about the deposit account, subject to the terms of the power of attorney form.
If we are unable to act on a power of attorney or attorney instructions, the following complaint handling process is available.
Please note that Amex is not currently offering new deposit accounts and does not offer its own power of attorney forms.
This commitment outlines the procedures for modifying or replacing an existing consumer product or service if the fee is increased.