New York – American Express is boosting efforts to combat fraud with a new $10 million program aimed at driving U.S. small-merchant adoption of more secure EMV check-out terminals. The program was announced by the president last week, as part of a larger press conference on credit card fraud. In his statement, the president urged members of the payments and retail industries to work together to educate and protect consumers and businesses.
The American Express program will help eligible U.S. small merchants defray the cost of new payment terminals that accept secure chip-based credit cards. The company will also provide educational resources about new security standards.
American Express has been offering chip-and-pin credit cards internationally for more than 10 years and began issuing EMV-enabled cards on a select basis to U.S. card members last year. The company has since made its EMV-enabled consumer and small business credit and charge products available to all of its card members upon request.
With its new program, American Express is helping small merchants take steps to ensure that their customers feel secure when they use their credit card to pay. As part of the program, scheduled for launch in February 2015, eligible merchants that have upgraded their terminals can request a one-time $100 reimbursement from American Express by visiting www.americanexpress.com/fightfraud. American Express has committed to providing up to $10 million in reimbursements to U.S. small merchants that submit a request by April 30, 2015. To qualify for a reimbursement, a U.S. small merchant must have less than $3 million in annual American Express charge volume.
“We know from speaking with our smallest merchants that they are too busy running the day-to-day operations of their businesses to keep up with the constantly changing fraud landscape,” said Anré Williams, president, global merchant services, American Express, in a press release. “That is why we’re launching this program to help educate small merchants about point-of-sale security and offset the cost of upgrading their terminals. The program will benefit our small merchants as well as our card members, who can feel secure as they continue to support their local communities and shop small.”
To increase small merchants’ knowledge about the technology, American Express will be providing educational materials and holding webinars, forums and other events.