News Feature | November 5, 2014

American Express Will Provide Assistance For Merchant Adoption Of Secure Payment Terminals

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

American Express Will Provide Assistance For Merchant Adoption Of Secure Payment Terminals

Small Merchant EMV Assistance Program will offer aid to upgrade terminals in February 2015

American Express was already poised to aid the EMV transition when President Obama signed an executive order as the first step in the “Buy Secure” initiative, designed to hasten the universal adoption of EMV chip-and-PIN cards in the U.S.

American Express is launching a new program in February designed to support the point of sale (POS) terminal upgrades of small businesses. According to a press release, American Express is launching a new $10 million program aimed at driving U.S. small-merchant adoption of more secure check-out terminals. As part of the program, American Express is providing funding to help eligible U.S. small merchants offset the investment in new payment terminals that are compatible with the new chip-and-PIN technology. Educational resources about the new security standards are also part of the initiative.

On the American Express website, the company explains: “Migration to EMV necessitates many changes. Besides the need for new terminals, EMV introduces new processes, such as the use of a PIN instead of a signature for cardholder verification in certain countries. Also, EMV migration will likely require you to design and carry out staff training programs. ”

“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,” says Anré Williams, president of global merchant services for American Express in the 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.”

As part of the program launching in February, eligible merchants that have upgraded their terminals can request a one-time $100 reimbursement from American Express by visiting The program is open to U.S. merchants with less than $3 in annual American Express charge volume and that submit a request by April 30, 2015.

“As the largest global retail association, we applaud the program announced by American Express to provide much needed resources to ensure that our small retail members have the same line of defense against cyber criminals as our large retail members are deploying in their stores,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation in the press release. “This is a great step in the right direction for consumers and retailers alike.”