Accepting American Express Payments

American Express cards are accepted in businesses across the globe and is a card that is usually synonomus with larger purchases. While American Express (AMEX) is useful, especially with business/corporate clients, the fees to process American Express have classically been high (comparative to other credit card interchange rates). American Express is working to make their card more acceptable upon merchants and provide some better perks to those who accept their card brand.

To put it simply, American Express Opt-Blue is a program for merchants that provides three advantages over traditional Amex acceptance:

1. Instant Amex Acceptance

When a merchant signs up with a credit card processor (such as Helcim), they can automatically register and accept American Express credit cards, just like Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

2. Combine Bank Deposits

The merchant's daily batch settlements will now include American Express transactions as part of the deposited total, as opposed to a separate deposit from Amex.

3. Cost+ Pricing for American Express

The processor can now offer Interchange+ pricing on American Express merchant accounts, which provides better Amex rates.

Helcim has been offering American Express Opt-Blue to US merchants since 2014. We're now excited to be introducing Opt-Blue to Canadian merchants at the end of October 2016! [UPDATE: Amex Opt-Blue is Now Available in Canada]

Please reach out to us for more information, or check out the frequently asked questions below:

I'm already accepting Amex, do I need to switch?

No. If you already have an American Express merchant ID and want your Amex arrangement to remain unchanged, that is not a problem. Merchants can continue providing us with their Amex merchant ID to add-on to their merchant account however, merchants that want to take advantage of the combined bank deposits and new rates can switch to Opt-Blue.

Are daily deposits faster?

Yes. Traditionally, American Express takes 3 to 5 business days to deposit funds, as opposed to Helcim's 1 to 2 business days. Since Amex Opt-Blue deposits are combined with Visa, MasterCard and Discover deposits, merchants will be receiving their combined funds much faster.

Are there any restrictions?

Yes. American Express is currently limiting Opt-Blue to merchants processing less than $500,000 of American Express transactions per year. We expect this limit to be increased over time. For now, merchants processing over this yearly amount will need to continue receiving their merchant ID and deposits from American Express directly.

How do I sign up?

New merchants should simply use our online application form. Existing Helcim merchants should reach out to our support team and ask to be switched to the American Express Opt-Blue acceptance program.


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