Compiled by Patrick Avenell

An American Express spokesperson has issued the following response to after our story yesterday under the headline ‘Visa launches extraordinary campaign to kick American Express out of retail’:

“Normally, we don’t worry a lot about what our competitors say, but Visa has made claims that simply aren’t supported by facts.

“The fact is more Australians are using American Express than ever before and more Australian businesses are accepting American Express than ever before. I think those participating in the market are best-placed to make judgments on what’s best for them. 

“First, American Express’ pricing is far more transparent than our competitors — merchants are charged one fee for all our products. That’s just not the case with Visa and MasterCard who have an array of different fees depending on the merchant and the product type.

“Visa and MasterCard are offering premium products with pricing comparable to ours on a mass scale, as more platinum and premium products are issued by their bank partners. That doesn’t even include all of the other fees and charges which Visa and MasterCard tack on such as annual fees, voice authorisation fees, monthly minimum fees, stationery fees and printing fees. American Express doesn’t charge these fees.

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“Claims were also made about our speed of payment which are not entirely accurate.  Businesses that bank with ANZ, CBA, NAB, Westpac, St George or the Bank of SA, and submit their transactions to American Express by 7PM, will have the money in their accounts before 9AM on the next business day.

“Our focus is on providing value to merchants by helping them do more business. Our card members spend more than twice as much as other cardholders and they’re more loyal, which boosts revenue and repeat business. That is important for retailers: not just attracting customers but keeping them coming back.

“Precisely because we have direct relationships with merchants and with customers, we’re also able to provide tailored marketing and insights which help businesses bring more high-value customers through their doors. We’re also able to provide great tools to merchants in Australia looking to make that transition into digital retail.

“American Express is proud of the relationships we have with our merchants. Many merchants want to attract our card members into their businesses, and as a result they choose to do business with us.”

The link to the RBA statistics page was provided by American Express.