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 Each year, millions of dollars are lost due to fraudulent use of charge and credit cards. Reduce the risk of your business being victimised by following these basic guidelines of Card Acceptance and Authorisation.

 General ways to prevent fraud

Be Alert

Ensure that the person presenting the Card is the Cardmember. The American Express® Card is not transferable, even amongst members of the same family. Simple checks include matching the full name and Member Since date on the Card with the Card presenter. You should be suspicious of any customer who is:

  • Nervous or attempting to hurry things up
  • Purchasing large or expensive items without regard to detail
  • Looking at the Card before signing the Record of Charge
Be Careful

Check the overall appearance of the Card. Does it look tampered with? Is the signature panel taped or painted over with correction fluid or erased? Are there valid dates shown on the front of the Card?

If you are in any way suspicious, call Authorisations on 0 2273 5522

 Reducing fraud on face-to-face Charge requests
  • The American Express® Card must be presented for all in-person Charge requests.
  • If you have electronic Authorisation capabilities, always swipe the Card through the Electronic Data Capture terminal.
  • Validate that your business and processor are submitting all the magnetic strip information required by American Express.
  • Always compare the account number on the front and back of the presented Card with the account number on the printed receipt dispensed from your terminal or cash register.
  • Cardmember signature is required on the printed receipt for all face-to-face transactions. The signature on the receipt must match the name on the front of the Card and the signature on the back of the Card.
  • Expiry date is required for all methods of Authorisation request (electronic or manual).
  • American Express Cards are non-transferable. Only the Cardmember may use the Card.
  • If you process Charge requests manually, or the magnetic strip on the back of the Card is unreadable and you must process the request manually, call Authorisations on 0 2273 5522 for an Approval Code, obtain an imprint of the Card on a Record of Charge that meets American Express requirements, ask the Cardmember to sign the Record of Charge and compare the signatures.

 Reducing fraud on mail order, telephone order and Internet Charge requests

  • Call Authorisations on 0 2273 5522 to obtain an Approval Code and confirm the customer's billing address with the Card ID. Card ID is a four digit code printed on the face of the Card.
  • Your business is responsible for ensuring delivery to the appropriate customer billing address and for obtaining "signed proof" of delivery to the Cardmember's billing address.
  • Write "Mail Order", "Telephone Order" or "Internet" on the signature line of the Record of Charge.
  • Your business should only conduct transactions on the Internet using browser software that supports industry standard encryption protocols.
  • To ensure higher levels of risk protection and service quality, always establish and use a separate Merchant account number for your mail order, telephone order and Internet Charge requests.
  • If the Cardmember collects the merchandise from you, standard Card acceptance procedures for in-store purchases must be followed.

 Reducing fraud on self-service terminal Charge requests

  • Ensure that any self-service terminal (e.g. kiosk, vending machine, pay-at-the-pump) operated by your business is able to capture all required information from the magnetic strip on an American Express Card
  • Establish and use a separate Merchant account number for your self-service terminal Charge requests

 Reducing fraud on American Express® Travellers Cheques payments

All you need to do is WATCH your customer countersign and COMPARE with the original signature. If they are a reasonable match, you are guaranteed payment. There is no need for Authorisation and no other restrictions should be imposed. If you have additional questions, please call American Express® Travellers Cheques Service Center on 0 2273 5296.

 Ways to help reduce Chargebacks

Here are four methods you can follow to help reduce the number of Chargebacks:
  1. Always get an Authorisation Approval Code
    Without this, it is very difficult to support your position if a Cardmember claims a transaction is fraudulent.
  2. Respond to enquiry letters on time
    If you wish to contest a Cardmember claim, material to resolve the dispute should be sent to us by the date displayed on the enquiry letter.
  3. Follow Card acceptance procedures accurately
    Always get the Cardmember's name as it appears on the Card, the account number, expiry date and Card ID. If the Cardmember is not present, verify the billing address and Card ID when possible with American Express.
  4. Pay special attention when taking orders by telephone, mail order or the Internet
    Even if you only occasionally accept such charges, the precise procedures should be followed and a great degree of caution should be exercised.
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