Apparel spoke to Rob Bourne, Head of Card Services from American Express New Zealand about some of the misconceptions retailers have about American Express and why retailers should get on board.

American Express has a simple and transparent service fee that accepts all types of American Express cards. Their simple fee structure reflects the services and value they provide by connecting their card members with various businesses. “I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that accepting American Express is expensive with little value provided in return, which simply isn’t true,” explained Bourne. Their fees reflect the value they bring to each industry, which include larger transactions their premium customers will now be presenting you with as a new warmly welcoming Amex merchant. Merchant pay no set-up fees, monthly or annual fees, and no minimum transaction fees. “Another common myth is we’re a global company with no local relevance or connection to Kiwis. When in fact, we launched in New Zealand back in 1973 – with over 40 years’ experience delivering value to New Zealand businesses and our Card Members.”

Accepting American Express provides instant access to their unique network of customers, both locally and globally. Bourne added that they know on average their customers make 20 percent more personal purchases when travelling and 34 percent earn more than $125K per annum. Meaning they spend more than the average customer. “We know our customers love to travel and a spot of retail therapy. So, as an added incentive, we regularly offer unique benefits and cashback offers that reward customers for shopping, leading to an increase in foot traffic and merchant transactions. Welcoming Amex is a great way to attract tourist spend, and for kiwi Card Members to drive repeat business to your store.” Bourne added that American Express ensure your cash flow is maintained with next day business payments along with world-class fraud protection, and great service.

American Express offers merchants and customers peace of mind with their sophisticated fraud protection and identity software. Their systems routinely monitor accounts, can detect a change in spending behaviour, and uses SafeKey, the latest security software, to help protect you. For larger businesses who have a high volume of online transactions, you may be interested in American Express’ online fraud reduction product, Accertify, which can be used for ALL credit cards not just American Express. This is a paid solution provided exclusively by American Express.

As a company, they have evolved with their customers. “We have a strong product suite of cards ranging from no annual fee, right up to our platinum products – so there is a card for everyone.” They are leading the rewards market with their Airpoints Platinum Card which is the fastest way to earn Airpoints Dollars for credit card purchases in New Zealand. American Express is all about rewarding everyday spend, so they have evolved their rewards to cater for the changing needs of their customers. In particular, they are focused on travel rewards, cash back offers, and membership reward points. “We continue to innovate with new benefits we offer, like complimentary smartphone screen insurance on some of our Cards.” Focused on ensuring they attract the very best Card Members in New Zealand and abroad, American Express has developed new ways to ensure they connect those Card Members with Kiwi businesses. Their card member force has continued to grow along with their tens of thousands of merchants across New Zealand that ranges from everyday spend within supermarkets, petrol stations, hardware and department stores to small business owners.

It’s very easy for any business to sign up, just by calling their toll-free merchant hotline on 0800 800 855 and request to become an Amex-accepting merchant. Standard setup forms follow with some quick background checks to satisfy NZ regulations, and then the terminals are loaded with Paymark/Eftpos NZ and you’re ready to go! Once the forms are completed, Amex handles everything so you can get back to running your business and wait for the confirmation from American Express that you’re all set up. “We’ll also send out a welcome pack including complimentary point of purchase items for you to let your customers know you now warmly welcome American Express.”

“Quite simply, our customers spend more on Amex. We’re also attracting younger customers to American Express with 50 percent of new customers are under 35 years old. Our customers are early adopters with technology, love to travel, dine out and shop.”