Small business owners know that not all credit cards are created equal. In fact, there are 470+ rate variations, and it can take quite a bit of time and effort to find the most fair and transparent pricing structure for dealing with them (hint: it’s interchange plus).
One card brand in particular, American Express, has been snubbed by many small businesses due to its cost-ineffective rates. However, times are a-changin’, thanks to its OptBlue program announced a few years ago.
What Is OptBlue?
OptBlue is a program introduced by American Express back in 2014. It caters to small businesses by expanding their ability to accept Amex cards without having to pay a fortune in fees. This is possible in large part because the company has loosened its tight grip on payment processing, instead allowing merchant services providers to determine your final cost of accepting these cards.
What’s in It for You
Greater options! Because the total cost of processing Amex cards is in the hands of merchant services providers who offer different pricing structures, you have more opportunities to negotiate and go with whichever processor gives you a better rate. This approach works particularly well with processors who offer interchange plus, since they typically already have a competitive markup rate that helps you save money.
All in all, this new approach makes it affordable to accept a previously expensive type of cards and do business with potentially more customers.
Why We Are Talking About This Now
While this program has been around for a few years, it has recently experienced some changes to its pricing that are worth noting.
First, if you work in a hospital or an education sector, you’re no longer limited by Amex’s charge cap. This means you’ll be able to offer your customers greater flexibility when it comes to accepting payments
Second, the company has updated its dispute policies. Chargebacks are now being reduced even more effectively, which saves merchants a lot time, money and stress.
Third, restaurant businesses will now pay less in wholesale fees, thus gaining more incentive to accept American Express cards.
So far, OptBlue has been a real win-win for merchants and their customers. If you’re a small business owner who wants to grow their clientele by offering flexible payments, we got the expertise to help you accomplish that. Speak with one of TransNational Payments’ specialists to make the most of your payment processing options!