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How to handle them.

Your American Express transactions occur in one of three ways:

  • Card transaction with the Cardmember present.
  • Card transaction with the Cardmember not present (such as via mail, telephone, or the internet).
  • American Express Travellers¡¦ Cheques.

The quickest way to accept our Cards is electronically. Our electronic authorization and submission helps to speed up our payments to you. Contact your service provider or bank to request American Express ¡¥enablement¡¦ on your POS terminal or acceptance product. Or call our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 (Monday ¡V Friday, 9am to 6.30pm) (except public holidays).

Now that you¡¦re set up, let¡¦s look at the different kinds of transactions you will encounter.

Traditional magnetic strip and chip Cards (either PIN or Signature) are in circulation for both American Express and other card issuers around the world. So you¡¦re likely to see a mix of different Card types, all of which you should welcome equally.

It¡¦s important that you check the validity of the Card and make sure it hasn¡¦t been visually altered or tampered with. Click here to find out how to check Card faces. Then follow these simple steps:

Magnetic strip Cards ¡V without a chip.

  • Swipe the Card.
  • If the magnetic strip is unreadable, you can key in the transaction manually (if it is enabled on your POS terminal) and/or take an imprint of the Card to validate its presence.
  • If the transaction is declined, refuse the transaction.
  • If your POS terminal screen display a message prompting you to call American Express such as ¡§PLS LIFT HANDSET¡¨ / ¡§PLS CALL BANK¡¨/ ¡§CALL REFERRAL¡¨:*
  • - For POS terminals with handset, use the provided phone to connect to the American Express Authorization Center to 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.
    Key in the Authorization Approval Code provided by American Express Authorization Center into your POS terminal and print out the receipt.
  • Always ensure you compare the signature on the receipt with the one on the back of the Card. If they do not match, refuse the transaction. For more information please read our disputes section.(Not applicable to FastPay transaction)

Cards with a chip.

  • Place the Card in the chip reader of your POS terminal.
  • Follow the prompts on the terminal display to process the transaction.
  • If the transaction is approved, return the Card and provide the customer with a copy of the transaction receipt.
  • If the chip transaction fails, follow the magnetic strip Cards procedure detailed above.
  • If the chip transaction is declined, refuse the transaction.
  • If your POS terminal screen display a message prompting you to call American Express such as ¡§PLS LIFT HANDSET¡¨ / ¡§PLS CALL BANK¡¨/ ¡§CALL REFERRAL¡¨:*
  • - For POS terminals with handset, use the provided phone to connect to the American Express Authorization Center to 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.
    Key in the Authorization Approval Code provided by American Express Authorization Center into your POS terminal and print out the receipt.

PIN or Signature.

  • PIN or Signature allows your transaction to be authorized using an alternate identification method.
  • Ask your customer if they would like to use a PIN or sign for the transaction.
  • Follow the magnetic strip instructions, but allow the customer to choose whether they sign or enter their PIN.

Having trouble with your POS terminal?
You may still accept American Express Cards manually if your POS terminal is unavailable. Simply follow these instructions:

If your terminal is broken or unable to automatically connect to American Express.

  • Call our 24-Hour Authorizations Hotline on 2277 1000 to request an authorization approval code and submit the charge manually. Contact our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 (Monday ¡V Friday, 9am to 6.30pm)(except public holidays) for manual submission of charges.
  • Contact your terminal provider who will be able to advise you on the problem.

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 instructions.

* IMPORTANT REMINDERS:

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 to request a valid Authorization Approval Code to process the transaction.

Unless the POS terminal specifically displays ¡§enter PIN¡¨, otherwise do not let the Cardmember handle the terminal.

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.

If you have any queries on how to process an American Express Card transaction, please contact our Merchant Services Hotline on 2277 2277 between 9:00am and 6:30pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays).

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 1000.

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

For more information, please visit https://www385.americanexpress.com/tcauthweb/tcauth.do

Need assistance?
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.

Got a question?

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