Bookstores working with Bancard Systems, the American Booksellers Association’s affiliated credit card processing company, will be seeing lower rates for accepting American Express credit cards.
Bookstores and other merchants using Bancard’s services will automatically be enrolled in the new rate program. The new rate is already in effect for stores that signed up for Bancard’s services between late 2014 and now; stores that joined the Bancard program earlier will see the new rate go into effect by May.
The American Express rate for Bancard program participants will go from 2.89 percent or higher to as low as 1.60 percent and 10 cents, said Bancard’s Jeffrey Gallo. All credit card processors have the option to offer this new, lower rate to their merchants, though some may elect not to do so, he added.
The lower American Express rate is available to all stores with less than $1 million in annual volume. The rate does vary based on the dollar amount of the sale and whether transactions are handled in person or online.
All transactions are subject to Bancard’s processing fee of 0.12 percent and 6 cents.
In other news, as part of its efforts to ensure that all ABA member stores participating in the Bancard affiliate program are ready by the October 1 deadline for the transition to EMV chip cards, Bancard is offering booksellers the opportunity to buy upgraded terminals at cost. Booksellers working with a point-of-sale vendor will need to purchase the terminal that the vendor selects. Prices for the terminals, which include stand-alone terminals, wireless terminals, and pin pads, currently range from $200 to $700.
For additional information on the switch to EMV chip cards, see this week’s BTW update on what POS vendors are doing to prepare stores for the upgrade, as well as last week’s story on a special, limited time offer from AmEx of a $100 American Express® Reward Card to help defray the cost of purchasing EMV-enabled card readers for point-of-sale systems.
ABA members not currently enrolled in the Bancard program can learn more by contacting Gallo at (800) 748-6901.