Global Payments will launch the OptBlue program in Canada in early summer, the first acquirer/processor to use the American Express program to adjust Amex card pricing for Canadian merchants.

Amex launched OptBlue in the U.S. last year, giving its acquiring partners the authority to determine its Amex pricing for small merchants. The card brand established OptBlue to help it reach businesses that may have previously been reluctant to accept American Express transactions because of higher fees than other card brands.

OptBlue allows providers to establish  "one-stop servicing" for participants by providing a single statement, one settlement process and one point of contact for all major card brands, American Express stated in a May 11 press release.

The OptBlue program enables American Express  "to grow acceptance among small merchants, help acquirers to enhance their portfolios, and benefit merchants by making it easy to accept American Express cards and effectively do more business with our loyal card-member base," Jennifer Hawkins, vice president and general manager of merchant services for American Express Canada, stated in the release.

OptBlue is limited to eligible Canadian small merchants that have a projected American Express volume of less than $500,000 per year.

"We are delighted to be the first to offer OptBlue to our network of small business clients in Canada," Rene Belanger, president of Global Payments Canada, said in the release. The program allows Global Payments to provide more value to clients and expand its network "through engagement with merchants that may have never accepted American Express products before," Belanger added. 

A week after its official launch in the U.S., OptBlue began picking up momentum as American Express added First Data, EVO, Merchant e-Solutions and First American Payments as acquirer partners. Vantiv, Global Payments, Heartland Payment Systems, Total System Services, Worldpay, Transfirst and JetPay were among the first to participate in the program.

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