There has been an awakening! The world has been flipped upside down.

If you saw one of our earlier posts about American Express, you know we briefly touched on Amex having a little feature called Optblue that allows merchants to enroll in next day funding.

Optblue continues to roll out changes for American Express credit card processing setup, and these changes cause even the most avid Amex haters to reconsider.

The old days of American Express

Again, we briefly touched on this in our previous blog, but here’s how American Express used to operate.

Amex considered itself as a small business owners business card. It was largely used as a rewards card, and marketed itself with a certain status (very posh).

It was used for larger transactions, meaning you wouldn’t have many people using an Amex card to buy a sandwich (unless they’re a character from Wolf of Wallstreet). An example of an Amex transaction traditionally will be a B2B one, buying computers for your small company, flights to a conference, etc.

They were also considered annoying to merchants when it came to their statements. Normally, when you receive your monthly settlement statement it would include your fees, deposits, and have Visa, MC, and Discover all on one statement.

American Express, was a bit of a diva and got their own separate statement, with all the fees, deposits, and all the other features of a processing statement, that arrived separately from your other processing statement.

American Express now

Gentle readers, American Express has a new program. Let us fully introduce Amex Optblue.

All of the above issues with have changed, and now Amex is becoming a more merchant friendly option.

Amex now has interchange rates that are nearly identical in price to Visa and MasterCards. They also have become more willing to negotiate with merchant service providers (like us), and will be flexible in their pricing options.

That’s great news for you as a merchant!

Now your payment processor has negotiating power, meaning they can try and haggle for a lower rate for your processing fees.

One single credit card processing statement

Say goodbye to two statements a month. American Express now with Optblue will come on the same processing statement with Visa, MC, and Discover; all for your convenience.

All the fees, interchange rates, and deposits will be listed on the same statement, saving you time and being easier to reconcile all your transactions.

Are there any other differences with Amex?

Ah yes, American Express has come to a different way of charging processing fees.

Now, Visa and MasterCard if you’ve read our previous blog – and if you haven’t, please do – it’ll make this next part easier to understand. Those credit card companies base their rates on a tiered system that largely depends on what kind of card it is and how it swiped.

Amex Optblue bases their rates on a 3 tiered system as well, but now they base it off of the dollar amount in the transaction.

To give a rough description:

  • Tier 1 anything under $400
  • Tier 2 anything between $400.01-$7,500
  • Tier 3 anything over $7,500.01

Larger transactions will have a higher interchange rate, since the processor will be out more money if the transaction is fraudulent.

Will this be a trend for the other credit card companies to follow in as they make their tiers? Who knows, but it is an interesting approach to ranking the rates for transactions.

So what does this mean for you?

If you’ve never taken American Express before, or do not currently have Optblue, you should seriously consider accepting it.

Now, you’ll still have to see if you qualify to enroll in processing with Optblue, but it’s worth it.

All of previous stigmas against American Express have changed with Optblue. Chances are, there are plenty of Amex cardholders who are dying to use their cards at your business.

Learn more about if you’re eligible to receive this updated version of American Express.