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What is Amex Optblue

For them who are not aware what Amex OptBlue is, it is a recently introduce payment processing system with the help of which small business merchants are allowed to accept Amex credit cards without paying a high fee to the credit card company. The OptBlue option bundles Amex cards with other card brands during transactions so that the amount of fee the merchant is charged is affordable and almost similar to that of visa, master or discover.

Amex OptBlue is like a wish come true for small merchants and their customers owning American Express cards. Since the introduction of the program there have been certain updates, and facts about the program revealed, for benefit of the people. Talking about what you don’t know about Amex OptBlue, these a few important facts you should know;

What you should know about Amex Opt Blue?

Amex Opt Blue For Merchants:

It is very important for merchants to know the facts about the program.
  • The merchant’s turnover has to be below $10,00,000 a year to be eligible to register with the program and take advantage of it.
  • There are 3 tiers in which the sale amount is broken down. For an eCommerce merchant, the lowest rate is going to apply if the sale is $150 or less. Sale above $150 upto $3000 has a higher rate and the highest rate is applied to sales above $3000.
  • For an average retailer, a sale rate less than $75 is considered to be the lowest. A sale rate ranging from $75.1 to $1000 is a higher rate, and the highest rate is for sales above $1000.
  • An additional network fee is charged to the merchant.
  • Visa, Master and Discover sometimes charge additional fees for international cards and card-not-present transactions, with AmexOpt Blue even American Express card holders pay this additional fee.
  • There is a 0.15% fee merchants pay to Amex based on gross volume.
  • A 0.30% surcharge is charged by Amex on all card-not-present transactions. This is in addition to the 0.15% charge.
  • The final fee that the merchant pays has the provider’s mark-up, the sale rate, and the company’s fees.
  • The wholesale rates are simplistic and easier to manage.
  • The charge backs, underwriting, and other such matters initially is handled by the Card payment service provider.
  • Chargebacks and disputes are easier for the merchants as it will be handled in the same way as it is being handled by Visa.
  • All the charges and transactions show under the same statement that shows details related to Visa, Master and Discover cards
  • The rates are not fixed. They can be negotiated before the merchants go for registering for the program.
  • Most of the merchants who are under the OnePoint program right now are switching to OptBlue.
  • Merchants should be aware about the cost-plus pricing and the interchange-plus pricing rates that the company is offering. Apart from this tiered or bundled pricing are other options merchants can opt for.

Amex Opt Blue For Customers:

Customers do not really need to know about the rates and pricings as these are not charged to them. The only two things customers need to know are;

  • Customers can look for stickers at small stores saying “American Express Accepted Here” to know if the store is under the OptBlue program or not.

What you don’t know about Amex OptBlue?

Advantages of Amex OptBlue

  • If you’re a merchant this is for you.When you sign up for a merchant account with American Express, you will automatically be signed up for the OptBlue program.
  • The settlements are fast with visa, master and discover, and now because of this program the speed of settlements with Amex as well has gained pace.
  • One of the best advantages is that merchants do not have to wait for a separate statement from Amex. They are be able to see all the transactions with their other bank cards on the same statement.
  • The rates for American Express card is set by the merchant processors now, also the chargeback dispute policy is more convenient to process for the small merchants.

Why Amex OptBlue was Introduced?

The program was introduce for business. OptBlue helps small merchants to be able to afford the merchant fees and at the same time helps customers to get what they want from small stores, eventually giving the credit card company more business.

Are You Eligible For Amex OptBlue And Is It Right For You

The OptBlue program is only for small business merchants. If the monthly sale of your company is $1 million or more, you are not eligible for the OptBlue program, as there are other programs for merchants having as high a sale-rate as this.

Also in case your average sale is $150 or below you will be eligible but it would not be recommended for you to opt for it, as it might turn out to be a loss for you. You must opt for the program only if the monthly sales revenue of your business is around $3000 and above.

Considering the customers point of view regarding Amex OptBlue, the results on surveys done across the world proves:

  • Out of the total population in the US, 51% of Amex card holders went less to small stores, before they knew about the program. Now, they look for the sticker saying, “American Express Accepted Here” even in small stores.
  • According to the 2014 American Express Annual Report, U.S. alone has 54.9 million Amex card holders. The company has 50 Co-branded cards across the world. This shows that not just affluent people can afford the Amex card anymore. Even a person with average salary can have it, however, the OptBlue program has made it possible for people to use their cards much more than they used it.

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