American Express Canada sets sights on small merchants

Source: American Express Canada

American Express Canada's new OptBlue program aims to expand the company's Small Merchant network by enabling third-party acquirers to sign up Small Merchants to accept American Express.

The program provides Merchants with streamlined acceptance and servicing of American Express Cards and is part of a broader growth strategy for the company to capture more of its Cardmembers spending at local businesses. Moneris Solutions Corporation ("Moneris"), Canada's largest acquirer, is the most recent participant to sign on to the program.

"We're on a journey to ensure our Cardmembers can use their American Express Cards every day for virtually all their purchases and earn valuable rewards along the way," said Kerri-Ann Santaguida, Vice-President & General Manager, Merchant Services, American Express Canada. "We've made great progress expanding our Merchant network in places like gas stations, grocery stores and fast food restaurants, and solidifying a broader presence among local businesses is the next step. Signing an industry leader like Moneris to the OptBlue program will help us achieve the scale we need to get us closer to our goal."

OptBlue is a one-stop servicing solution that allows third-party acquirers to provide Small Merchants the benefit of a single statement, one settlement process and one point of contact for all major card brands, including American Express. Additionally, third party acquirers determine merchant pricing in addition to providing payment processing and servicing.

"Moneris' goal is to help our merchants be payment ready and the OptBlue program will support this objective by offering a better level of service for merchants accepting American Express," said Jeff Guthrie, Chief Sales and Relationship Officer at Moneris. "Whether consumers are using traditional cards or mobile solutions, with OptBlue we can simplify the merchant card acceptance experience at a time when payment options are evolving."

Dan Kelly, President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), welcomed news on the OptBlue program saying, "On behalf of our 109,000 small and medium-sized business members of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), I congratulate American Express Canada for its new approach to doing business with small merchants. We are pleased these changes will give small merchants more options in finding the best rates and service possible for their business."

OptBlue was initially launched in the United States in early 2014. The program was launched in Canada in June 2015.

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