“I’m sorry, but we can’t accept AmEx for that thousand-dollar purchase you want to make.” (Insert background sounds of gunshots hitting your foot).
The above is something that a lot of merchants, especially SMEs, can relate to.
On the one hand, AmEx is one of the most used card brands, and on the other hand, it rarely made business sense to accept it.
We say “made” (past tense), because there’s finally good news for merchants who have previously had to turn down sales paid with an AmEx card.
So this was the “Before Picture”…which consisted mainly of the perceptions most merchants had of AmEx:
- AmEx was just for large stores.
- It took too long to get your money.
- Its interchange rates were much more expensive than for Visa, MC or Discover.
Now, AmEx has painted the “After Picture” OptBlue.
What is OptBlue?
OptBlue is a program designed for businesses processing up to $1million in sales (as indicated by their TaxID) which makes AmEx payments just like Visa and MasterCard’s. Merchants now get all card payments under one single statement, with one settlement process and have one point of contact for any problems or queries.
If you don’t accept AmEx but want to start doing so:
Now would be the time to contact your service provider. After all, and maybe by some freak of chance, AmEx is still the most widely used card in the U.S and you won’t have to turn down any more sales due to not being able to accept AmEx.
If you already accept AmEx and are/used to be in the OnePoint program:
Then you’ll be automatically transferred to OptBlue. The costs to accept AmEx through this program are potentially cheaper to the merchant, so you should consult with your service provider to see if you are eligible for a lower rate for your AmEx payments.