Since their inception, Internet merchant accounts have offered businesses an affordable way to accept credit card and debit card payments from customers, as long as the customer used a Visa or MasterCard. Historically, many payment processors could not accept other cards like American Express or Discover, because the banks with which they held merchant accounts were exclusively associated with certain credit associations. But now Internet merchant account providers are expanding their offerings to allow merchants to give their customers the most possible flexibility when purchases are made and invoices go out.
Partially due to their popularity with business owners, American Express cards account for nearly one fourth of the total dollar volume of credit card transactions in the United States. While other issuers such as Visa may have a bigger presence abroad, American Express currently has the highest percentage of transaction dollar volume in America. The company’s adapting business model is one of the reasons for its lasting success.
Founded in 1850 as a competitor to the US Postal Service, American Express started off selling money orders and travelers checks, which are still popular today. In the 1950s American Express was among the first companies to issue charge cards, and in 1987 American Express joined Visa and MasterCard in offering true credit cards, which allowed cardholders to pay off their account balances over time, rather than at the end of each monthly pay cycle. This switch allowed American Express to branch out beyond its original business model, which focused on merchant dues and customer membership fees for cards used primarily by business people for travel and entertainment. American Express now offers many cards with no annual fees and low introductory rates, and it is the popularity of these more traditional credit cards that have prompted payment processors to offer Internet merchant accounts that accept AmEx.
For more information on Internet merchant accounts, please visit www.intlcardservice.com.