American Express has joined Visa and MasterCard in adjusting chargeback policies for merchants that have not yet migrated to chip card payments.

By the end of August, American Express merchants will not be liable for counterfeit fraud transactions of less than $25. Also, by the end of the year, American Express will not charge a merchant after 10 chargebacks from a fraudulent card account. That limit does not prevent an Amex cardholder from disputing additional fraudulent transactions. The policy changes will remain in effect until April of 2018.

American Express says its analysis of chargebacks on its network indicates more than 40% of its fraudulent chargebacks in the U.S. are for transactions of less than $25.

"Combating fraud is an ongoing priority for American Express,” Mike Matan, vice president of global network business for American Express, said in a June 22 press release. “We recognize the migration to EMV in the U.S. is an effort that will take time, which is why we are making these policy changes in order to provide flexibility to those merchants that may need more time to upgrade their point-of-sale terminals to accept EMV chip cards.”

The American Express policy change follows the card brand's announcement last week of providing the Amex Quick Chip for merchants to speed up the checkout process for EMV transactions. The Quick Chip technology reduces time at the point of sale's card reader for consumers to about two seconds per transaction.

American Express also has a EMV self-certification process in place for its merchant acquirers to complete required POS testing in a matter of hours.


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