Bryan Penny, vice president of Network Policy at American Express, sent us a note about steps the company has taken to support contactless payments growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"American Express has increased contactless transaction thresholds in 26 countries in the Caribbean, so that Card Members can make higher value contactless purchases without entering their PIN," Penny wrote. "We have newly raised the thresholds for contactless transactions from the equivalent of 25 USD to the equivalent of 100 USD in Caribbean countries including Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bolivia, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Saint Martin, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, and more.
"In total, American Express has now increased contactless thresholds in 60 countries globally since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, in order to help merchants and consumers who are looking for a faster, cleaner, safer way to pay while reducing physical contact at the point of sale."
Penny also pointed out that the company has supported contactless payments for many years in countries around the world, and is now seeing an acceleration of contactless interest and adoption because of a new focus on cleaner payments.
"A recent American Express survey of U.S. consumers found that not only is contactless use growing, but significantly more U.S. consumers are saying that it's their preferred form of payment in this current environment," Penny noted. (For more insights from this consumer survey, see https://amex.co/3787jOj.)
"Additionally, we are reminding merchants globally that American Express does not require them to collect or provide Card Members' signatures at the point of sale," he wrote. "In 2017, Amex was the first network to announce that our policy would make signatures optional globally (https://bwnews.pr/2Y48ytI). We are helping merchants to program their payment terminals to no longer request a signature, which reduces the use of a shared stylus, pen or finger on the touchscreen."
Is interest in contactless payments surging among your merchants? If so, how are you helping to integrate contactless into their POS environment? Share your thoughts on this and other payments issues at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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