Monday, May 4, 2015

AmEx picks JetPay for cut-rate small-merchants program

Lower fees to attract smaller payments vs Visa, MasterCard

AmEx picks JetPay for cut-rate small-merchants program

Travel Deals

JetPay Corp., the Berwyn-based electronic payments processor headed by former MAC Card head Bipin Shah of Rosemont, is the first transaction-processing company to start handling American Express Corp. transactions under a new AmEx program for merchants that bill less than $1 million in AmEx transactions a year.

Check out JetPay's AmEx service here. Rival Transfirst is doing this, too. Others are expected to sign up, extending American Express cards to small restaurants and other businesses at reduced rates.

Under a program AmEx calls "Opt Blue," AmEx is using the processors to offer small merchants a fee below its usual interchange rate (typically 3.5% or more). It's a way of competing with Visa and MasterCard (which typically charge around 2%-2.5%) for retailers who have up til now seen AmEx cards as too expensive and out of their reach.

AmEx has clearly given its blessing, but doesn't want to talk about details of the program, since "it is still early days," AmEx spokeswoman Sanette Chao told me.

About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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