Credit Card Processing, Merchant Services, For ‘Credit Card Terminal’ For EMV, Chip Card, American Express

LOS ANGELES, CA – August 26, 2015 – Merchant services and POS providers, launched a new version of the American Express Co.’s OptBlue program. On June 11, 2015, the company and sales channel partners began offering select merchants a 1.99 percent rate plus $0.10 on AmEx card-present transactions processed on Merchant Services systems.

Restaurant merchants must have active Merchant Services processing and POS system service agreements in place with average tickets below $150 to be eligible for the program. The company expects this to drive adoption of merchant services systems while providing a point of differentiation for its agents and partners. Participating merchants will be guaranteed the discounted AmEx rate for a full year, the company reported.

Fundamentally, the OptBlue program that powers this pricing initiative is a real game changer for the industry. 

AmEx has steadily implemented third-party sales models over the last two decades. Its External Sales Agent (ESA) program, which began in the 1990s, pays ancillary bonuses to merchant level salespeople (MLSs) who submit AmEx merchant agreements with new merchant processing applications. 

In both the ESA and OnePoint programs, AmEx owns the merchant relationships and sets the pricing. OptBlue, introduced in 2013, was the first AmEx reseller program to enable third-party acquirers to own the merchant relationship, manage credit and chargeback risks, service the accounts, and use AmEx wholesale pricing to set their own rates.

Doubling down on OptBlue’s all-in-one program.

OptBlue was created to complement other AmEx initiatives such as Shop Small, a program that encourages AmEx cardholders to patronize small, local businesses. Designed for merchants with projected AmEx charge volumes of less than $1 million per year, OptBlue aims to simplify credit card processing for small-business owners. Resellers can consolidate AmEx transactions with other major card brand activities to provide merchants with an all-in-one merchant statement and point of contact for all their processing needs. Both AmEx and Merchant Services strive to evolve their programs in response to payments industry trends. Merchant Services introduced a free POS initiative in 2011 with a flat monthly fee for related services that he described as being “no different than the free cell phone you get when you sign a Verizon or AT&T service agreement.”

OptBlue as part of the card brand’s ongoing commitment to enhance the small merchant experience in the United States. The program will help deliver a smart and easy solution for U.S. small merchants to enjoy the benefits of American Express Card acceptance while making it convenient for consumers to Shop Small year round.

The industry has observed a steady increase in boarding of small to midsize merchant accounts, many of whom are price sensitive and averse to AmEx acceptance. As merchant providers became more focused on offering POS technology, our target market evolved into the small and midsized restaurant and hospitality industry.  that this Market segment have traditionally perceived AmEx to be a premium and highly priced card brand.

That perception and appeal to that market by lowering the American Express rates. The industry expects the program to deliver substantial cost savings to merchants who already accept American Express, freeing up funds that could be used to upgrade outdated equipment to ISO’s POS systems. Also anticipated is the special pricing to lower barriers to entry for merchants who have never accepted American Express due to perceived higher costs.

To receive amex pricing of 1.99% with lower rates, contact Merchant Services at 1-888-895-3129 or visit:

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