American Express Certification

Ensuring payment transaction reliability and security for all merchants and Card Members

Overview

The American Express Global Network is committed to payment transaction reliability and security for all merchants, authorized processors*, issuers and acquirers – along with Card Members.

 

Certification is required in order to maintain the quality, efficiency, and financial soundness of the American Express Global Network.

Benefits

Certification ensures:

  • Transactions are processed seamlessly
  • Merchants can accept any American Express Card from any local or international Card Member
  • Card Members can use their American Express Card at all Merchants all around the globe

The Process

Issuers

American Express issuers must perform host and payment product certification, collaborating with the American Express certification teams, leveraging test simulation tools and customized test plans.

Host certification validates proper network messaging including authorization, settlement, data collection and reporting messaging. Host certification activities include:

 

  • Unattended testing: Confirm that sample messages can be sent and received without network connectivity
  • Telecommunication connectivity validation: Validate that the issuer test host can communicate with the American Express test host
  • Message and file validation: Validate that messages and files can be sent to the American Express Global Network

For all host certification efforts, American Express Global Network Specifications are required. To view these Network Specifications, Log in to Knowledge Base and use the search tool.

Payment product certification ensures that the payment product meets American Express Card platform, personalization, and authorization system requirements. Issuers certify that:

 

  • Card production: The plastic card is manufactured according to American Express specifications 
  • Chip product development: The chip is designed and developed to American Express specifications 
  • Chip embedding: The chip is embedded according to American Express specifications 
  • Data preparation: The issuer card management system data combines with the card and issuer specific cryptographic material in accordance with American Express personalization specifications 
  • Card personalization: The card personalization vendor is loading the magnetic stripe, embossing, indent printing and securely loading data onto the chip in accordance with American Express specifications.

Acquirers

American Express acquirers must be certified to submit American Express transactions to the American Express Global Network, including certification of host and Point of Sale (POS) terminals. The acquiring certification process includes collaboration with the American Express certification teams, leveraging test simulation tools, and customized test plans.

Host certification validates proper network messaging including authorization, settlement, data collection and reporting messaging. Host certification activities include: 

 

  • Unattended testing: Confirm that sample messages can be sent and received without network connectivity 
  • Telecommunication connectivity validation: Validate that the issuer test host can communicate with the American Express test host 
  • Message and file validation: Validate that messages and files can be sent to the American Express Global Network

For all host certification efforts, American Express Global Network Specifications are required. For all host certification efforts, American Express Global Network Specifications are required. To view these Network Specifications, Login to Knowledge Base and use the search tool.

The American Express Point of Sale (POS) device certification tests the end-to-end processing of American Express payment transactions from POS device to the entry point on the American Express Global Network. To certify a POS device, acquirers must: 

 

  • Submit the certification request form, including device information, to American Express relationship manager 
  • Provide the POS device/card interaction log(s) and transaction receipt(s) 
  • Perform applicable test cases, provided by American Express relationship manager

Payment Technologies

Certifying payment technology capabilities such as EMV Chip Payments, Contactless or Mobile that add value to American Express Cards and card acceptance are additional to the basic certification described above. The American Express certification teams support certification, leveraging test simulation tools and customized test plans.

Certification for value added products and capabilities required network specifications, card specifications, implementation guides and other documents. For each capability below, documents are posted to Knowledge Base.

Please Log in to Knowledge Base to access these documents and other detailed information. 

To certify these capabilities, the following steps are required: 

 

  1. Contact your American Express relationship manager to advise you want to certify product(s) 
  2. Review technical messaging scripts, provided by American Express 
  3. Attend technical specification walkthrough with American Express Relationship Manager 
  4. Execute required testing 
  5. Coordinate production install/beta

Next Steps

Get your product or solution AMEX Enabled.

Learn more

For Host Certification, log in to view Network Specifications.

Log in
[+] Feedback