In these Merchant Regulations, and throughout the Agreement, the following defined terms apply. Other defined terms appear in italics in the body of the Agreement and will apply for the whole of this document, not just the provision in which they appear.

Account Status Check


A type of Authorisation request that is used to ask an Issuer to indicate if the Card account represented by the Card Number on the message is valid. The Account Status Check is used, for example, by transit authorities to check the status of a Card account associated with a Transit Contactless Transaction at transit operator's terminal.

Advance Payment Charge

A Charge for which full payment is made in advance of your providing the goods and/or rendering the services to the Cardmember.


Any legal entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the relevant party, including its subsidiaries.

Affiliate Carriers

Licensed passenger air transport carriers with which an airline merchant has shared designator code agreements and written franchise or similar agreements whereby such carriers (a) operate under a trade name and logo owned by the airline merchant; (b) hold themselves out to the public as being affiliated with the airline merchant; (c) utilise ticket stock bearing the airline merchant’s name and identifying number; and (d) are required to comply with operational and customer service standards prescribed by the airline merchant. The Affiliate Carriers of an airline Merchant will be referred to collectively as a Carrier Affiliate Group and it is understood and agreed that the Affiliate Carriers are regional or small carriers.


A ticket, travel or generated sales agent or other agent, not an employee of Merchant, who sells Merchant's goods and/or services.

Aggregated Charge

A Charge that combines multiple, small purchases or refunds (or both) incurred on a Card into a single, larger Charge before submitting the Charge for payment.

Aggregated Transit Charge


An Aggregated Charge that combines multiple small Transit Contactless Transactions incurred on a Card into a single, larger Charge before submitting the Charge for payment.


The agreement pursuant to which you accept American Express Cards and these Merchant Regulations, collectively.

American Express Card or Cards

Any card, electronic account access device, other virtual, electronic or physical payment instrument, or service issued or provided by American Express Company, any of its Affiliates or any authorised licensees thereof and bearing any Mark(s) of American Express Company or any of its Affiliates. Card also includes any card or other account access device issued by a Third Party Issuer. The use of the terms "charge" and "credit" in relation to Cards are interchangeable in the Agreement.

American Express Network or Network


The Network of Merchants that accept Cards and the operational, service delivery, systems, and marketing infrastructure that supports this Network and the American Express Brand.

American Express SafeKey Programme

An industry standard authentication tool that is designed to provide greater security for online Transactions.

American Express Technical Specifications

See “Specifications” (including, but not limited to, the American Express Global Credit Authorization Guide, Global Financial Submission Guide, BIN Range Specifications, Global Sponsored Merchant File, and Secure File Transfer Protocol Quick Reference Guide) which we may update from time to time.

Applicable Law

(i) Any law, statute, regulation, ordinance, or subordinate legislation in force from time to time to which you or we or an Affiliate of either is subject, (ii) the common law as applicable to them from time to time, (iii) any court order, judgement, or decree that is binding on them, and (iv) any directive, policy, rule, or order that is binding on them and that is made or given by a regulator or other government or government agency of any Territory or other national, federal, commonwealth, state, provincial, or local jurisdiction.

Application-initiated Charge

A Charge which is made via your application designed specifically for navigation on mobile or tablet devices.



A message granting an Authorisation in response to a request for Authorisation from a Merchant, consisting of an Approval or other indicator.


The process for obtaining approval for a Charge, as described in the Agreement, in the form of an approval code number given by us or a third party designated and approved by us from time to time.

Authorisation Time Period


The number of days an approved Authorisation is valid for a transit purchase, before another Account Status Check or Authorisation is required.

Avoidable Chargeback

A Disputed Charge that would have been avoided had our Card acceptance procedures been followed.

Bank Account

An account that you or your Affiliate holds at a bank or other financial institution.

Bank Identification Number (BIN)

A 6-digit number used on Cards to identify the Issuer of the Card and which serves as the first six digits of the Card account number or Token.

Bill Payment Provider

A Merchant that is engaged by Cardmembers to pay a bill on their behalf. Bill Pay Providers (BPPs) charge the Cardmembers' Account and pay eligible End Beneficiaries identified on the bill using another method, such as bank transfer, check/cheque, or wire.

Buyer Initiated Payment (BIP) Transactions

A payment Transaction enabled via a payment instruction file processed through BIP.

Card Identification Number (CID)

Any of several values printed on the face of the Card.

Card Not Present Charge

A Charge for which the Card is not presented to you at the point of purchase (e.g., Charges by mail, telephone, over the internet or digitally, including a Digital Wallet Application-initiated Transaction but excluding Digital Wallet Contactless-initiated Transactions).

Card Not Present Chargeback

A Chargeback on a Card Not Present Charge that was disputed as fraudulent.

Card Present Charge

A Charge for which the Card is presented at the point of purchase, including In-Person Charges and Charges made at CATs.

Cardholder Data

Has the meaning given to it in the then current Glossary of Terms for the PCI DSS.

Cardholder Verification Method (CVM)

An American Express method by which Cardmember verification is performed to ensure that the person presenting the Card or Mobile Device is the person to whom the application was issued.


The carrier or holder of a Card (whose name may or may not be embossed or otherwise printed on the face of the Card) provided that, where a name is embossed on a Card, the person whose name appears on the Card is the Cardmember.

Cardmember-Initiated Transaction (CIT)

A Transaction which involves direct participation of the Cardmember.

Cardmember Information

Any information about Cardmembers and Card Transactions, including the names, addresses, account numbers, and card identification numbers (CIDs).


A payment or purchase made using a Card.

Charge Data / Credit Data

One or more of the data elements listed in Section 2.4, "Charge or Credit Records".

Charge Record

A record of a Charge that contains Charge Data and complies with our requirements. This is sometimes referred to as Record of Charge or ROC in our materials.


When used as a verb, means our right to: (i) our reimbursement from you for the amount of a Charge, or other amount, which we have paid to you whether by deducting, withholding, recouping from, or otherwise offsetting such amount against our payments hereunder (or debiting your Bank Account), or by notifying you or an Establishment of the obligation to pay us, which must be done promptly and fully; or (ii) our reversal of a Charge for which we have not paid you. When used as a noun, means the amount of a Charge subject to reimbursement from you or reversal. Sometimes called "full recourse" in our materials.

Chargeback Protection Threshold


The maximum value of one or more aggregated transit Transactions that can be settled against an approved Authorisation and protected from Chargebacks.


An integrated microchip embedded on a Card containing Cardmember and account information.

Chip and PIN Country

A Country where the POS System must be capable of processing Chip and PIN Transactions. See Chapter 8, "Country Specific Policies".

Chip and PIN Transaction

A Chip Card Charge authenticated by a PIN.

Chip Card

A Card that contains an integrated Chip on which data is stored (including Cardmember Information), which an enabled POS System can read in order to facilitate the processing of the Charge. Sometimes called a "smart card", an "EMV Card", or an "ICC" or "integrated circuit card" in our materials.

Chip Card Data

The information contained in the Chip on a Chip Card that is used to process Transactions.

Chip Only Country

A country where the POS System must be capable of processing Chip Card Transactions that are not required to be authenticated by a PIN.

Compelling Evidence


Additional types of documentation provided by the Merchant to demonstrate the Cardmember participated in the Transaction, received goods or services, or benefited from the Transaction.

Consumer Device Cardmember Verification Method (CDCVM)

An American Express approved and recognised Cardmember verification method whereby the Cardmember's credentials are verified on a Mobile Device and provided to an American Express issuer in the Charge Authorisation.

Consumer-Presented Quick Response (CPQR)

A Transaction where a Cardmember uses the Issuer application on a Mobile Device to generate a QR Code that is scanned at a POS device.


A Transaction environment in which a Card or Mobile Device is enabled with a radio frequency component to communicate with a radio frequency-enabled POS device to initiate a Transaction.

Contactless Technology

Any technology which allows the transfer of Charge Data from a Chip Card or Mobile Device to a POS System on a Contactless basis in respect of an In-Person Charge.

Covered Parties

Any or all of your employees, agents, representatives, subcontractors, Processors, Service Providers, providers of your point-of-sale equipment (POS) or POS Systems or payment processing solutions, Entities associated with your American Express Merchant Account, and any other party to whom you may provide Cardholder Data or Sensitive Authentication Data (or both) access in accordance with the Agreement. Sometimes called "Vendors" in our materials.


Any Cardmember account data, including, but not limited to, PAN or Token, that is stored by Merchants. Merchants may store Credentials-on-File to initiate Merchant-Initiated Transactions and Cardmembers may use their Credential-on-File to initiate Cardmember-Initiated Transactions.


The amount of the Charge that you refund to Cardmembers for purchases or payments made using a Card.

Credit Record

A record of a Credit that contains Charge Data and complies with our requirements.



A digital asset recognised as a medium of exchange, unit and/or store of value that employs blockchain technology and cryptography to submit and verify Transactions denominated in the digital Token.

Customer Activated Terminal (CAT)

An unattended POS system (e.g., a 'pay at pump' fuel dispenser or a vending machine). Sometimes called "Self-Service Terminals" in our materials.

Data Security Operating Policy (DSOP)

The American Express data security policy, as described in the Data Security Operating Policy (DSOP), of the International Merchant Regulations.

Debit Card

Any Card that accesses a demand deposit, current, savings, or similar account, excluding any Card bearing a Third Party Issuer's name or Marks without the Marks of American Express. A Transaction is settled from the accessed account. A Debit Card is not a Prepaid Card.

Declined Authorisation Protection Threshold


The maximum amount that can be settled following a declined Authorisation for a Transit Contactless Transaction.

Delayed Delivery Charge

A single purchase for which you must create and submit two separate Charge Records. The first Charge Record is for the deposit or down payment, and the second Charge Record is for the balance of the purchase.

Deny List


A list of Card Numbers that have received a declined Account Status Check or Authorisation without a subsequent approved one that removes it from the list.

Digital Delivery Transaction


Delivery of Digital Goods or Services purchased on the internet via an internet or an electronic network download or another file transfer process (e.g., images or software download)Sometimes called "Internet Electronic Delivery Transaction" in our materials.

Digital Goods or Services

Digital merchandise or services downloaded or accessed via Internet or another file transfer process (e.g., movies, applications, games, virus scanning software).

Digital Order

Charge Data that is taken via a website payment page, over the internet, email, intranet, extranet, EDI, or other digital network in payment for goods or services. This includes Internet Charges and Application-initiated Charges. Sometimes called "Internet Order" in our materials.

Digital Wallet Application-initiated Transaction

A Transaction initiated by a digital wallet utilising a browser or merchant application within the Mobile Device, and not via Contactless Technology.

Digital Wallet Contactless-initiated Transaction

A Contactless Transaction initiated by a digital wallet within a Mobile Device via the Contactless interface at an Expresspay-enabled point of sale device.

Digital Wallet Operator


A Digital Wallet Operator (DWO) is an Indirect Acceptor that operates a payment application allowing Cardmembers to make purchases or transfer funds through one or more of the transaction types set forth in Section 7.2, "Indirect Acceptor Models"


An amount that we charge for accepting the Card as set out in your Application or elsewhere in the Agreement, the amount of which is: (i) a percentage of the face amount of the Charge (Discount Rate); (ii) a flat per-transaction fee; (iii) an annual fee; or (iv) any combination of (i) to (iii). Sometimes called "Discount Rate", "Merchant Fee", "Merchant Service Fee", or "Service Fee" in our materials.

Disputed Charge

Any Charge (or part thereof) about which a claim, complaint, or question has been brought.

E-commerce Transaction

The purchasing of physical or Digital Goods or Services using the Internet, an application, or electronic network on either a personal computer or Mobile Device including, but not limited to, the Internet Transactions or Digital Wallet Application-initiated Transactions.

Electronic Commerce Indicator (ECI)

A data element related to a SafeKey Charge indicating the outcome of the SafeKey Authentication.

EMV Specifications

The specifications issued by EMVCo, LLC, which are available at

End Beneficiary

A third-party entity that receives payments from an Indirect Acceptor. The End Beneficiary does not receive Card information from the Indirect Acceptor. An End Beneficiary may also separately be a Merchant that directly accepts the Card.


Each of your and your Affiliates' locations, shops, outlets, websites, digital networks, and all other points of sale using any methods for selling goods and services, including methods that you adopt in the future. Sometimes also referred to as a "Merchant", "SE" or "Service Establishment" in our materials.

Establishment Number

The unique number we assign to each Establishment. If you have more than one Establishment, we may assign to each a separate Establishment Number. Sometimes called "Merchant Number" or "SE Number" in our materials.

Estimated Authorisation

An Authorisation for an estimated amount that differs from the final submission amount.


A programme within American Express for facilitating Contactless Transactions between a Chip Card or Mobile Device containing an Expresspay Application and an Expresspay-enabled POS device.

Floor Limit

A Charge amount above which you must obtain an Authorisation.

Fraud Full Recourse Programme

A programme that allows us to exercise our Chargeback rights without first sending an inquiry any time a Cardmember disputes a Charge for any reason based on actual or alleged fraud without the right to request a reversal of our decision to exercise our Chargeback rights.

Fraud to Sales Ratio

Calculation of total fraud as compared to your total charge volume for a specified period of time, as determined by American Express according to the parameters contained in the relevant SafeKey Implementation Guide.

In-Person Charge

A Charge for which the physical Card or, in the case of Digital Wallet Contactless-initiated Transactions, Mobile Device is presented at the point of sale, including Charges made at CATs. Sometimes called a "Card Present Charge" in our materials.

Indirect Acceptor

A payment intermediary that contracts with American Express to facilitate payments to multiple, eligible third-party End Beneficiaries. The Indirect Acceptor accepts the Card, but does not send Card information to the End Beneficiary and pays eligible End Beneficiaries using another method, such as bank transfer, check/cheque, or wire.

Instalment Payment Transaction


A Transaction that represents a single instalment payment in a series of instalments over a fixed period (sometimes called “Buy Now Pay Later” in our materials).

Internet Charge

A charge which is made through your website or the relevant website of your Establishments over the Internet via a web browser. This excludes Application-initiated Charges.


Any Entity (including American Express and its Affiliates) licensed by American Express or an American Express Affiliate to issue Cards and to engage in the Card issuing business.

Local Currency

The currency of the Country in which a Charge is incurred, or Credit is made.


A Merchant that offers Cardmembers the ability to purchase from multiple End Beneficiaries on their prominently branded platform (i.e., website or mobile application) and pay for such purchases on the same platform.


Names, logos, domain names, service marks, trademarks, trade names, taglines, or other proprietary designations.

Maximum Amount for a Contactless Transaction with No CVM

The maximum amount of the Charge that may be processed using Contactless Technology.

Merchant Account

An account established with us upon entering into the Agreement.

Merchant Category Code (MCC)

Four (4) digit code used to identify the industry in which the Merchant is doing business.

Merchant-Initiated Transaction (MIT)

A Transaction based on a prior agreement between Cardmember and Merchant that is initiated by the Merchant without direct participation from the Cardmember, through Merchant use of Credentials-on-File.

Merchant-Presented Quick Response (MPQR)

A Transaction initiated by a Cardmember using the Issuer application on a Mobile Device to capture a Merchant-Presented QR Code.

Mobile Device

An electronic device recognised by American Express that is enabled to initiate a Digital Wallet Payment. This includes, but is not limited to, mobile telephones, tablet computers, and wearable electronic devices.

Mobile Point of Sale (MPOS)

A system comprising of a commercial off-the-shelf mobile computing device with cellular or Wi-Fi data connectivity (such as a phone, tablet, or laptop) that may be used in conjunction with a Card-reading peripheral to accept contact and/or Contactless Transactions.

Network – see American Express Network or Network

No CVM Programme

A programme that allows an Establishment to not request a CVM from Cardmembers.

Non-Chip Card

A card that does not have an integrated microchip embedded on containing Cardmember and account information.

Non-Chip Country

A country where a Chip or Chip and PIN Transaction is not required.

Original Transaction Identifier (O-TID)

A Transaction Identifier (TID) generated by the AEGN during an Authorisation Request for a Cardmember-Initiated Transaction which links all subsequent Merchant-Initiated Transactions back to the original Cardmember-Initiated Transaction.

Other Agreement

Any agreement, other than the Agreement, between (i) you or any of your Affiliates and (ii) us or any of our Affiliates.

Other Payment Products

Any other charge, credit, debit, deferred debit, stored value, smart cards, other payment cards, other foreign currency accounts, account access devices, or any other payment instruments, services or products other than the Card.

Payment Application

Has the meaning given to it in the then current Glossary of Terms for PCI DSS, which is available at

Payment Facilitator

An entity whose business model provides that it accepts the Card on behalf of third parties (Sponsored Merchants). Formerly referred to as "Payment Aggregators", "Payment Service Provider" or "PSP" in our materials.

Payment Services

The provision of payment services in connection with Transactions between Cardmembers and Sponsored Merchants whereby you, the Entity providing such services (and not the Sponsored Merchant), are the Merchant of record, submit Transactions under your Merchant Number and receive payment from us for Charges (among other things).

PCI PIN Security Requirements

The Payment Card Industry PIN Security Requirements, which is available at


A PIN Entry Device or a Payment Application (or both) that appears at the time of deployment on the list of approved companies and providers maintained by the PCI Security Standards Council, LLC, which is available at

Peer to Peer (P2P) Transaction


A Transaction that transfers funds to and from its registered users of a payment application.

Personal Information

Information about an individual that is collected or held by you in the course of performing the Agreement and has the meaning given to it under the Privacy Laws. Personal Information includes but is not limited to information you receive or access about American Express Cardmembers or information we receive or access about you (if you are a person) and any individual employed by you whose details are provided to us as part of the Application or in the course of your acceptance of the Card.


Personal Identification Number.

PIN Entry Device

Has the meaning given to it in the then current Glossary of Terms for the Payment Card Industry PIN Transaction Security (PTS) Point of Interaction (POI), Modular Security Requirements, which is available at

Point of Sale (POS) System

An information processing system or equipment, including a terminal, personal computer, electronic cash register, Contactless reader, Mobile Point of Sale (MPOS), or payment engine or process, used by a Merchant, to obtain authorisations or to collect Transaction data, or both.

Prepaid Card

Any Card marked or denoted as "prepaid" or bearing such other identifier as we may notify you from time to time.

Primary Account Number (PAN)

A series of digits used to identify a customer relationship. The assigned number identifies both the Card issuer and Cardmember.

Privacy Laws

The Act on the protection of Personal Information and any legal or regulatory requirement in Japan or elsewhere which relates to privacy or the protection of Personal Information and which American Express or you must observe.

Processor or Processing Agent

A third party intermediary retained by you that we have approved for obtaining Authorisations from and submitting Charges and Credits to us.

Quick Response (QR) Code

A two-dimensional static or dynamic machine-readable barcode containing data that can be extracted and used for a specific purpose, such as enabling a digital payment.

Record Retention Period

The amount of time you are required to retain the original or electronically stored Charge Record or Credit Record, and all documents and data evidencing a Transaction, as notified from time to time.

Recurring Billing Charges

An option offered to Cardmembers to make recurring Charges automatically for a series of separate purchases or payments.

Response Timeframe

The amount of time you are required to provide a response containing the information we require after we contact you, as notified from time to time.

Risk-Mitigating Technology

Technology solutions that improve the security of American Express Cardholder Data and Sensitive Authentication Data, as determined by American Express. To qualify as a Risk Mitigating Technology, you must demonstrate effective utilisation of the technology in accordance with its design and intended purpose. Examples include: EMV, Point-to-Point Encryption, and tokenisation.

SafeKey Attempted

The Merchant requested authentication of the Cardmember in accordance with the AESK Programme and received proof of attempt, i.e., ECI 6, from either the Issuer or American Express Network. For the purposes of this definition, a response indicating "unable to authenticate", i.e., ECI 7, is not considered proof of attempt.

SafeKey Authentication

The Merchant requested authentication of the Cardmember in accordance with the AESK programme and received proof of authentication, i.e., ECI 5, from either the Issuer or American Express Network.

SafeKey Charge

A Charge that has been authenticated via the SafeKey Programme.

Service Providers

Authorised Processors, third party processors, gateway providers, integrators of POS Systems, and any other providers to Merchants of POS Systems, or other payment processing solutions or services.


The set of mandatory, conditional, and optional requirements related to connectivity to the American Express network and electronic Transaction processing, including Authorisation and submission of Transactions, either available at or upon request from your American Express representative, and which we may update from time to time. Sometimes called "American Express Technical Specifications" or "Technical Specifications" in our materials.

Sponsored Merchant

Any third-party Entity (or seller of goods) appointed by you and who has executed a Sponsored Merchant Agreement.

Sponsored Merchant Data

The mandatory, conditional, and optional requirements including, but not limited to names, postal and email addresses, tax ID numbers, names and social security numbers of the authorised signer of Sponsored Merchants, and similar identifying information about Sponsored Merchants, as set forth in the American Express Technical Specifications. For clarification, Sponsored Merchant Data does not include Transaction Data.

Sponsored Merchant Information Interface

Any format (including, but not limited to data files transmitted by secure file transfer protocol (SFTP), application programming interfaces (APIs), or through other methods) containing the Sponsored Merchant Data requirements set forth in the American Express Technical Specifications. The Global Sponsored Merchant File and Sponsored Merchant Acquisition API are examples of Sponsored Merchant Information Interface formats.

Sponsored Merchant Prospect


A seller of goods and services that wishes to accept the Card at the point-of-sale via a third party authorised to accept the Card on its behalf.

Staged Back-to-Back Transaction


A Transaction (i.e., website or mobile application) that allows Cardmembers to use a Card to fund a payment application for a specific purchase in real time to an End Beneficiary.

Stored Value Transaction


A Transaction that loads funds into a payment application for subsequent payments. This includes purchases of goods and services at single or multiple End Beneficiaries. Sometimes called “Top-Up Wallet” in our materials.

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)

Authentication based on the use of two or more elements that are independent, in that the breach of one element does not compromise the reliability of any other element, with the elements falling into two or more of the following categories: (i) something known only by the Cardmember, (ii) something held only by the Cardmember, and (iii) something inherent to the Cardmember.



The collection of Transaction Data that you send to us.

Submission Frequency


The maximum number of days that transit Transactions can be aggregated before Submission is required.

Third Party Issuer

Any other third party card issuer whose card you agree to accept under the Agreement.


A surrogate value that replaces the PAN.


A Charge or Credit completed by the means of a Card.

Transit Contactless Transaction


A Contactless (see also “Expresspay”) Transaction for entry into and/or use of a transit system.

Transmission Data

The same as Cardholder Data except for the requirements to include: Cardmember name, Expiration Date, the Cardmember's signature (if obtained); and the words “No Refund” if the Merchant has a no refund policy.

Virtual Currency

A financial currency unit not issued by a national monetary union.  Virtual Currencies may be accepted as a medium of exchange or monetary value transfer between two (2) or more individuals or Entities but may not have all the attributes of a real currency.

we, our, and us

The American Express corporate entity applicable for your country as defined in the Agreement.

you and your

The company, partnership, sole trader or other legal entity accepting Cards under the Agreement and its Affiliates conducting business in the same industry and their respective Establishments.