Your American Express transactions could occur in one of the ways below.
1. Card transaction, with the Cardmember present.
(a) Magnetic strip Cards – without a chip
With the electronic POS terminal, you can enjoy fast and efficient authorization of American Express Card transactions. Please take note of the following steps which will help ensure smooth processing and also better protect you and your customers from potential fraud.
Step 1 : Swipe the Card through your POS terminal
If the Record of Charge (“receipt”) is printed out immediately, your transaction has been approved, and you can proceed to Step 4 directly. If no receipt is printed out immediately, please go to Step 2.
Step 2 : Obtain Authorization Approval Code from American Express
Your POS terminal should display a message–such as "PLS LIFT HANDSET"/"PLS CALL BANK"/"CALL REFERRAL" – prompting you to call American Express:
- For POS terminals with handset, use the phone provided to connect to the American Express Authorization Center and request an Authorization Approval Code to proceed with the transaction.
- For POS terminals without handset, please call American Express Authorization Center at 2277 1234 for an Authorization Approval Code to proceed with the transaction.
Step 3 : Key the Authorization Approval Code provided by Authorization Center into your POS terminal and print out the receipt
Step 4 : Obtain the Cardmember’s signature on the receipt
Compare the signature with the one on the back of the Card. (Not applicable to FastPay transactions)
Step 5 : Complete the transaction
Return the Card and a copy of the receipt to the Cardmember. Keep the original receipt for your records–it will help you to provide proof of the Card's use, in case of a dispute.
(b) Cards with a chip
Step 1: Place the Card in the ‘Chip’ reader of your POS terminal.
If your terminal doesn’t have a chip reader, follow the instructions for magnetic strip Cards.
Step 2: Follow the prompt on the terminal display to process the transaction.
Step 3: If the transaction is approved, ask the Cardmember to sign or enter their PIN. (Not applicable to FastPay transactions)
- If the POS terminal prompts to “ENTER PIN”, please ask Cardmember to key in their PIN to complete the transaction. Please only let the Cardmember handle the POS terminal when it displays “ENTER PIN”.
- If the POS terminal does not prompt to "ENTER PIN" and, instead, prints out the receipt, please obtain the Cardmember’s signature on the receipt. You must compare the signature with the one on the back of the Card.
Step 4 : Return the Card and provide the Cardmember with a copy of their transaction receipt.
(c) Contactless (If Applicable)
Step 1: Enter the transaction amount into the terminal.
Step 2: The transaction amount is displayed on the Contactless Reader. The reader light blinks or sounds an audio alert.
Step 3: Ask the Cardmember to verify the amount on the Reader.
Step 4: (i) For Contactless Card, ask the Cardmember to tap the Card on the Reader. Once the Reader light blinks or sounds an audio alert, the Cardmember can remove the Card and wait for the transaction to be approved. Please follow the prompts on the receipt for signature, and give a copy of the receipt to the Cardmember.
(ii) For Mobile device, ask the Cardmember open the relevant application and perform the Touch ID authentication (or enter device’s Passcode) on the phone. Hold the device near the Reader. Once the Reader light blinks or sounds an audio alert, the Cardmember can remove the phone and wait for the transaction to be approved. Give a copy of the receipt to the Cardmember, and no signature is required.
- Please note that some POS terminals may display the word "REFERRAL" (with or without a set of numbers next to it). These numbers are NOT a valid Authorization Approval Code and should NOT be keyed into the terminal. When the word REFERRAL is displayed, you should call American Express and request a valid Authorization Approval Code to process the transaction.
- There is a wide range of terminal models. Please contact your terminal provider if you are unsure of the message displayed on your POS terminal.
- American Express will not be responsible for transactions not carried out in accordance with the American Express Terms and Conditions.
2. Card transaction, with the Cardmember not present (such as via mail, telephone, or the internet).
In the case of mail, telephone or internet transactions where the Cardmember is not present to sign or to enter their PIN, you need to follow a different process.
You must obtain all required information from your customer in order to complete your transactions. The details you require depend on your 'Card not present' acceptance function. Contact your service provider to discuss these requirements.
If you handle internet transactions, please ensure that your internet checkout is secure and meets with industry standard encryption. Check with your service provider if you are unsure.
Request an authorization approval code.
Follow your 'Cardmember not present' process to request an authorization. If this process is unavailable, then contact our 24-Hour Authorizations Hotline on 2277 1234.
3. American Express Travellers’ Cheques.
It’s easy to accept our Travellers’ Cheques. You don’t need to sign a contract, or pay any charges from American Express, and most banks accept them under the same conditions as any other cheque (consult with your bank for details on charges and clearing times).
Provided you follow some straightforward security procedures, we’ll pay you for every cheque you deposit.
As with any transaction, be vigilant. Discreetly watch your customer countersign the cheque and compare it with the original signature. Be sure to satisfy yourself that neither the original signature nor the cheque numbers have been altered.
If you would like to request a free Travellers’ Cheques Merchant code call us on 3002 1276.
If you’re unsure about the validity of a Travellers’ Cheque, you can request authorization from us either by our automated phone or our Online Services.
By phone: call our specialist team on 3002 1276.