From October 2014, we've introduced a new layer of security for your American Express® Card.
It's quick, easy and offers even more protection when spending online – and with no passwords to remember.
How does it work?
SafeKey uses the latest 3-D® Secure technology to help protect against fraud, and confirm it's really you making a payment on your American Express Card.
How do I get it?
Just ensure we have up to date contact details for you and we'll take care of the rest. Then when you see SafeKey during your online transaction, be sure to follow the prompts to complete your purchase.
NB. SafeKey is able to identify some online purchases as eligible for an express journey based on your previous purchase history. In this instance SafeKey may not ask you to enter a one-time code during an online purchase but will still give you the same online security.
Where can I use it?
We've joined forces with participating online retailers to offer you this improved level of online shopping protection. So when you shop online you can relax and spend in confidence with SafeKey.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is American Express SafeKey®?
American Express SafeKey® is a free online authentication service that provides an additional layer of security against theft and fraud when buying goods and services online at participating SafeKey retailers.
American Express® will confirm your identity with a dynamic One Time Code (OTC) for each transaction you make with participating online merchants. The OTC helps to protect you against online fraud. It is a secure way to authenticate that the customer using an American Express Card for an online purchase is the rightful owner.
Participating online merchants will display the American Express SafeKey logo on their websites.
2. Doesn’t American Express provide online fraud protection?
American Express provides online protection for all our customers through our Fraud Protection Guarantee*. American Express SafeKey has been launched as part of our continuous efforts to let our customers shop in a safer and more secure online environment.
American Express will never e-mail you to ask you for sensitive information. If you receive a suspicious email which claims to be from American Express, do not click on any links or open any attachments. Please forward the email to: UKemailfraud@americanexpress.com
*We will guarantee protection against fraudulent transactions on your Card, provided you have taken the responsibility to notify us immediately, and you have complied with your Card Terms and Conditions.
3. Do I need to register for American Express SafeKey?
You are automatically enrolled for American Express SafeKey. There is no additional step that you need to take for your existing Cards, when you get new Cards, or when you open additional new accounts other than ensuring your mobile phone number and/or email address on file with American Express is updated for all of your American Express Cards. This also includes Supplementary Cards that you hold.
4. How do I shop with American Express SafeKey?
When you enter your American Express Card number for payment at a participating online merchant an American Express SafeKey window will appear automatically. You will be prompted to enter your OTC, which will be sent to your mobile phone and/or email address that you have on file for that account. Once your OTC is verified, your online transaction will be processed.
5. How do I know if my mobile phone number and/or email address on file for my American Express Card is up to date?
You can proactively confirm the mobile phone number and email address you have on file for all your American Express Cards by calling the Customer Services number on the back of your Card.
6. I am making a purchase but the American Express SafeKey screen displays a masked mobile phone number and/or email address that are not up to date. What can I do?
When you checkout with American Express SafeKey, the masked mobile phone number and/or email address that we have attempted to send the OTC to are displayed. We will attempt to send the OTC to both your mobile phone and/or your email address; if one is not updated you can use the other to obtain the OTC that was sent. If neither is updated, please click the ‘Update now’ link on the OTC entry screen displayed on the merchant page.
When updating your contact details please answer the security questions and input your correct mobile phone number and/or email address. Once completed, another OTC will be sent to these new details, and you can complete your purchase. If you experience any difficulties, please call the Customer Services number on the back of your Card.
7. Can I update my contact details with American Express if I am not using SafeKey?
You can change your nominated email address or mobile phone number at any time by following the SafeKey prompts, logging into your online account or contacting us on the number on the back of your Card. Any updates you make to your contact details for your account will automatically apply to SafeKey.
8. How long is an OTC valid for?
The OTC is valid for 10 minutes from when it was generated.
9. It’s been over 10 minutes and I have not received my OTC. Can I have it re-sent?
The OTC is valid for 10 minutes after it is generated by the transaction. If you click the ‘Resend now’ button within that 10 minute window, then the same OTC will be re-sent to you. If you click the ‘Resend now’ button after the 10 minute window expires, then you will need to start the entire transaction process again which will generate a new OTC.
Please also check your email Spam folder and note that SMS texts cannot be delivered to certain countries outside the UK.
10. I have primary and additional American Express Cards that are used by different people. Can I have the OTC sent to the specific people using each Card?
Yes, the account numbers for each Card are different and different contact details can be added for each primary and additional Card you have associated with your account. All that is needed is that the correct contact details are on file for each primary, additional or supplementary Card.
11. I am using an additional Card and have added my mobile phone number and/or email address which is different from the primary Cardmember’s contact details. Will my update on the additional or supplementary Card change the contact details on file for the primary Card?
No, the contact details updated for additional Cards will not change any details on file for the primary Card or other additional Cards.
12. How will you use and store my contact details?
13. What should I do if someone has changed my contact details fraudulently or if I identify a fraudulent purchase on my Card account?
If you ever suspect that fraudulent contact information changes or purchases have been made on your American Express Card account, please contact Customer Services immediately by calling the Customer Services number on the back of your Card.
14. Do all American Express Cards work with American Express SafeKey?
Business Travel, Purchasing Cards, Prepaid Cards and Gift Cards are excluded.
15. Is it obligatory to use American Express SafeKey?
Yes, it is not possible to perform a transaction with an American Express SafeKey merchant without using American Express SafeKey. However, you are able to complete the payment without using American Express SafeKey for the first two transactions. At the third transaction you will be asked to fill in the OTC in order to be able to pay for the transaction with the American Express Card.
16. My transaction has failed. What do I need to do?
Different reasons could cause the failure of a transaction. When the OTC was entered incorrectly or some of the security questions have not been answered correctly, the access to SafeKey could be blocked. If the OTC wasn't entered correctly after three attempts, the transaction will expire. Technical issues in the payment service of the merchant could also interrupt the transaction. If your transaction is unsuccessful you will receive an on-screen notification.
17. Access to American Express SafeKey has been blocked. What do I need to do?
Access to American Express SafeKey may be blocked for security reasons if an invalid OTC has been keyed in or if the security questions have not been answered correctly. This may also affect access to some other American Express online services. If you experience any difficulty with access please contact American Express Customer Services by calling the telephone number on the back of your Card.
American Express SafeKey® Terms and Conditions
American Express SafeKey is an online authentication service that provides an additional layer of security against theft and fraud when buying goods and services online at participating SafeKey retailers using your American Express® Card (your “Card”).
American Express SafeKey is provided under license by us - American Express Services Europe Limited.
For holders of American Express Cards issued in the UK, your use of American Express SafeKey is governed by these SafeKey Terms and Conditions, and your American Express Card Terms and Conditions. If there is any inconsistency between the two, your American Express Card Terms and Conditions will apply to the extent of such inconsistency.
IMPORTANT: By using American Express SafeKey, you agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions and consent to the processing of your personal information for the purposes described below. Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully before using SafeKey.
We strongly recommend that you print a copy of these terms for future reference.
1. ONE-TIME CODE
We will send you a One-Time Code to the email address and/or mobile phone number we have on record for you (if we have those records). Your One-Time Code is only valid for ten minutes from the time you submit your Card details to the merchant. If you do not complete your transaction during the ten minutes, you will need to restart the transaction with the merchant.
You should ensure that your mobile phone and email messages are readily accessible before you start a transaction at a participating SafeKey merchant. You can re-request your One-Time Code as often as you like during the ten minute validity period. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate mobile phone coverage and internet connection to receive messages. We are not responsible for any loss or damage you may suffer if you are unable to receive or access your One-Time Code.
You must not share your One-Time Code with anyone. You must take all reasonable precautions to prevent anyone else from viewing any One-Time Code which we send to you. You should delete your One-Time Code once you have successfully completed the transaction with the merchant.
If you repeatedly enter your One-Time Code incorrectly, your access to SafeKey may be blocked and you may need to contact us to proceed with the transaction. We are not responsible for any loss or damage you may suffer if you do not enter your One-Time Code correctly.
2. EMAIL & MOBILE PHONE DETAILS
If we do not have an email address or mobile phone number on record, you will need to provide us with those details where you are prompted to do so. You will be asked certain security questions to verify your identity. If you do not answer these security questions correctly, then your access to some online services may be blocked. You will need to contact us to un-block your access to such services – see Contact us section below. We are not responsible for any loss or damage you may suffer if you forget the responses to your security questions, or get the answers wrong, if the mobile phone number or email address you provide is invalid or not current or you are not able to receive or access your mobile phone or email messages.
You can change your nominated email address or mobile phone number at any time by following the SafeKey prompts, logging into your online account or contacting us on the number on the back of your Card.
IMPORTANT: If you provide us with new contact details, American Express (including American Express Services Europe Limited and all other relevant companies in its group) will update all of its records with those new contact details. This means that you will receive all future communications and alerts from us at the new email address or mobile phone number you provided. Your new contact details will be used in the same way as your old contact details and will be subject to and governed by your American Express Card Terms and Conditions. For this update purpose, your contact details will be shared with other relevant companies in our group and transferred outside the European Economic Area if that is where those companies are located. Please see Section 3 (Privacy) in these Terms and Conditions for more details.
American Express takes your privacy seriously and the purpose of this section 3 is to help you understand how your personal information, will be used, disclosed, transferred and otherwise processed when you sign up to SafeKey.
We will use personal information collected through SafeKey for the purpose of providing the American Express SafeKey service (for example, to verify your identity or to authorise transactions) and to update your contact details in American Express’ systems as described in Section 2.
We will not share your personal information with anyone except as required or permitted by law.
We take appropriate precautions to secure your personal information, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. Card information and security details are transmitted using a high level of encryption and are stored on our secure server behind a firewall to protect against unauthorised access.
We may transfer your personal information to the United States (US) or other countries for processing, where data protection laws may not be as comprehensive as in the UK. However, we have taken appropriate steps to ensure your information is afforded the same level of protection as in the country where your Card is issued.
American Express SafeKey, including each One-Time Code, must only be used by the Cardmember (meaning the person whose name appears on the front of the relevant Card) and only for the purpose of authorising transactions made using that Cardmember’s Card.
In addition, the following terms apply to your use of American Express SafeKey:
These terms governing liability are in addition to the terms relating to liability in your American Express Card Terms and Conditions.
We are not responsible or liable for any loss or damage you may suffer if you are unable to complete a transaction at a participating SafeKey merchant due to factors outside our control, including:
We are not liable for any damage or any viruses which may affect your computer or mobile device or any software on account of your access to or use of American Express SafeKey.
You will not be charged for receiving your One-Time Code in the UK however American Express is not responsible and shall not be liable for any costs incurred by you as a result of you requesting or receiving your One-Time Code outside the UK.
American Express does not recommend or endorse any retailer (or their goods or services) by virtue of that retailer participating in American Express SafeKey. Without affecting any rights you may have under law or the Terms and Conditions of your Card, there are risks with all online transactions and American Express does not warrant or represent that shopping at participating American Express SafeKey retailers is risk free.
These Terms and Conditions were last updated on the Effective Date listed at the bottom of this page.
We may stop or suspend access to American Express SafeKey at any time. We may make changes to these Terms and Conditions as set out below.
If we make changes to American Express SafeKey or these Terms and Conditions, we will notify you if they are material changes. In that case, we will notify you by posting a notice on our website, posting a notice in the SafeKey window or sending you a notice to your email or postal address that you have provided to us in connection with any of your accounts.
If the changes are not material changes, then we will simply publish the new Terms and Conditions and update the Effective Date.
If you continue to use SafeKey after we make changes to the Terms and Conditions, you will be deemed to accept the new Terms & Conditions.
If you fail to comply with any of these Terms and Conditions we can suspend or terminate your participation in American Express SafeKey.
Misuse & Fraud
If you suspect that your security details are being misused, or an online transaction is unauthorised, you must tell us immediately by calling the number on the back of your Card.
8. CONTACT US
If you have a question regarding American Express SafeKey, or an online transaction using American Express SafeKey, you should contact Customer Services by calling the number on the back of your Card.© 2014 American Express Company. All rights reserved.