American Express merchant rates

Did you think you had a flat rate fee for your American Express merchant account? I did too. But, there are circumstances where they can charge you more. Key entering a transaction at the point of sale is probably the most common.

Per the American Express April 2010 merchant guidelines PDF, “there are instances when Merchants will need to key-enter an In-Person Transaction. This occurs most often when the POS System cannot read the Magnetic Stripe. There may be a fee assessed for Charges that are key-entered. See subsection 12.2.2, authorization fees.
Transaction fee – A fee applied to any Charge for which we did not receive the full Magnetic Stripe from the Card and the indicator as to whether the Card was swiped.
0.30% of the face amount of the Charge.

This should not come as a surprise. Visa and MasterCard have long had a different rate for key entered transactions on a RETAIL or swipe merchant account.

” One of the requirements of a key-entered Transaction is to validate the Card’s presence. Failure to validate the Card’s presence can render the Merchant liable for Chargebacks if the Cardmember disputes the Charge. This doesn’t change for any type of card and we’ve reported on this before.

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