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For many small business owners, American Express cards have been bitter pills to swallow in the past. Largely due to the higher processing costs, when compared to cards like Discover, MasterCard, and Visa. Processing fees take away from store profits and have, historically, been significant enough to make many small businesses balk and refuse to accept American Express cards in response.

With more than 100 million American Express cardholders, it makes sense that most small businesses aren’t interested in alienating that kind of buying power. Unfortunately, most small businesses feel there isn’t a better way to address this particular need.

Problems with American Express Processing in the Past

Past tense problems that make American Express a pain in more than the pocketbook for many small businesses included the complexities of creating and maintaining American Express accounts. The process was so complicated that many small business owners gave up before they even had an opportunity to get started.

Fees were another problem with American Express processing for small businesses. There was one rate in the past and American Express set the rate. Today there are many rate options on the Opt Blue plan allowing you to “shop around” with various Merchant Service Providers to find the rate that works best for your business.

Why do You Need to Accept American Express for Your Small Business?am_ex_opt_blue.png

Small business owners today face a great deal of competition. You’re no longer simply competing with other local business. You’re competing with businesses across state lines and various other geographic borders. You need every edge and advantage you can find over other small and not-so-small business that’s out there.

Refusing to accept a credit card brand that has more than 100 million customers across the globe is cutting off one of your arms and making it much more difficult to gain that competitive edge. However, taking the plunge and accepting a card that fewer of your competitors accept gives you a slight edge over many of the competition without the risk of alienating potential customers who would otherwise shop elsewhere at businesses that accommodate their credit card and purchasing needs.

Perhaps the most important reason, though, is to provide that added layer of customer service in a business climate that appears to be increasingly shifting away from customer service to offer a more streamlined approach to business.

 

The American Express Opt Blue Plan

The Opt Blue Plan from American Express is the solution for small businesses that has been so sorely needed. Small businesses and merchants understand that many of their customers have, and prefer to use, American Express cards. To not accept these cards has hurt these businesses that need every customer.

The Opt Blue Plan makes it easier for small businesses to make the move and accept American Express cards. Not only does it simplify the processes of setting up and maintaining accounts for small businesses, but it also reduces rates making the transition more palatable to small business owners who are watching every penny.

Is the Opt Blue Plan the Right Choice for Your Small Business?

Small merchants and retailers have understandable concerns about American Express based on past experiences. American Express is making new strides consistently to become more friendly to small businesses and merchants. The Opt Blue Plan is one excellent example of the company’s commitment to smaller merchants and retailers.

But, how can you know if it’s the right choice for your business and if now is the right time to make that choice?

The bottom line is to consider how much business you believe you might be losing as a result of not accepting AMEX cards currently. You can estimate based on the numbers and assume that there is some pain for your small business. Some customers will simply use another credit card or pay cash for their purchases. Some may decide to walk away. However, it is an inconvenience for your customers when you do not accept the card of their choice and it will affect their buying decisions in the future. That’s no small thing and something you should keep in mind before walking away and decide to continue refusing American Express in your business.

The bottom line is that American Express, with the Opt Blue Plan, has removed all the traditional obstacles that have made small businesses reluctant to accept American Express in the past. By doing this, they have opened the doors enough for your small business to walk through and test accepting the American Express card. You just might discover that the rewards of doing so are much bigger than you anticipated – especially once you spread the word about your new acceptance of American Express cards.{{cta(‘cd93a6c0-0c8a-48cf-9787-db98425fd439′,’justifycenter’)}}

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