What is American Express?
American Express – also known as AmEx – is an electronic card payment solution branded by the financial services company American Express . Over the years, it has become a key payment method worldwide and is currently accepted in more than 130 countries and 29 million stores worldwide (including 9 million in the United States). On average, Amex cardholders spend 3-4x as much as Visa and Mastercard cardholders, making it of particular interest to luxury, premium and high-end brands. An average American Express cardholder spends $16,400 per year (excluding the United States). In France, 1.2 million people have an American Express card.
American Express runs its own processing network, competing with MasterCard and Visa. Since American Express earns its revenue from issuing credit cards and processing transaction services, the company provides high security levels coupled with fast processing speeds. All of this makes American Express one of the most sought-after payment methods on the market.
How does American Express work?
When a customer is ready to complete their purchase at the checkout, they can choose American Express as their payment method. This payment option directs customers to a special page where they can add their card details. This includes the card brand, cardholder’s name, card number, expiry date, and security code. Customers can then make their initial payment, and merchants receive funds instantly.
Why do merchants and consumers use American Express?
While credit cards generally positively affect their sales, customers tend to prefer using them for convenience. They may consolidate most of their purchases with credit cards for convenience, the ability to delay cash flow, and reward points. Many businesses have switched to accepting American Express cards in recent years because of the company’s perks. When customers use their AmEx card, they earn Membership Rewards points, which they can redeem for travel, gift cards, entertainment, and experiences.
Another benefit of using an American Express credit card is the transaction protection provided by the company. Purchases made with an AmEx card can be covered if they are lost, stolen, or damaged. Travel protection is also available for those who pay with an AmEx card. Travelers who experience flight delays, cancellations, or interruptions can be reimbursed for expenses related to such occurrences. It’s easy to see why cardholders prefer American Express and may be disappointed when they cannot use their cards for online purchases.
Some merchants choose not to accept American Express, limiting their customers’ credit payment options to Visa and Mastercard. However, customers are used to being able to use AmEx to purchase their essentials and pick up points along the way. For American Express cardholders, it can be a jarring experience when their preferred payment method is refused. Merchants who consider the customer’s convenience and preference choose to accept AmEx – especially since points earned from payments translate to even more perks for the customer.
How can I start accepting American Express?
To accept American Express at your online store, use a payment gateway that offers this option. By partnering with a global payment service provider, you can increase your presence in local markets, capture new customer segments, and grow your business locally.