American Express Global Network Policy

To govern Issuers' and Acquirers' relationship with the American Express Global Network and each other

Overview

The American Express Global Network establishes and maintains policies via published manuals which are provided to licensed Issuers and Acquirers upon signing an agreement with American Express.

 

These manuals are updated regularly to:

 

  • Support business growth and increased scale.
  • Enable American Express-branded payment products to be accepted worldwide and deliver innovative products and capabilities to our Issuers and Acquirers.
  • Mitigate operational risk and provide objective rules across Issuers and Acquirers and the American Express Global Network.

Manuals

Business and Operational Policies (BOP) Manual

 

The Business and Operational Policies (BOP) manual is a global document which contains business policies and rules for many areas, including, but not limited to, service establishments and ATM standards, authorizations, clearing and settlement, chargebacks, security, and fraud services.

 

The BOP manual is updated in April and October. New policies are effective upon publication.

 

Network Specifications Manual

 

The Network Specifications manual contains the authorization, financial, and data collection message layouts and programming notes. These messages enable the movement of data between Issuers and Acquirers and the American Express Global Network. 

 

In addition:

 

  • Message layouts are provided with additional programming notes where appropriate. 
  • The Codes Reference Guide contains a complete listing and descriptions of the codes necessary to process messages on the American Express Global Network.

 

The Network Specifications manual is updated in April and October. New content and updates are effective upon publication.

 

Policy and Technical Release Announcement (PTRA)

 

This document provides policy and technical information regarding new or modified policies and technical features that will be implemented in the future or as indicated. 

Policy and technical changes included in the PTRA will be incorporated into upcoming publications of the Business and Operational Policies (BOP) manual and Network Specifications.

 

The PTRA includes:

 

  • A high level overview of all policies and technical features and effective dates at the beginning of the document for ease of use.
  • An “Impact to Participants” table that provides a summary of policy, technical and certification impacts that Issuers and Acquirers should be aware of.

 

The PTRA is published in April and October.

 

Network News

 

The Network News bulletin describes changes and updates to operational and technical information and is published monthly.

 

The Network News may contain:

 

  • Articles with informational, policy, and technical data that may be included in future Network Specifications or Business and Operational Policies (BOP) manuals.
  • Articles with corrections, clarifications, or new information.

FAQs

Network Policy FAQs

The Business and Operational Policies (BOP) manual, Policy and Technical Release Announcement (PTRA), and Network Specifications manuals are published via the standard industry release cycle timelines (on a semi-annual basis in April and October), and are intended to provide Iissuers and acquirers with timely information necessary to conduct business on the American Express Global Network. Additional announcements are communicated monthly via Network News communications and as needed via Special Bulletins to address issues immediately impacting Issuers and acquirers.

The Business and Operational Policies (BOP) manual contains:

  • Global requirements for transacting on the American Express Global Network
  • Systems access and interface requirements
  • Authorization requirements
  • Card product requirements
  • Clearing and settlement requirements
  • Disputes processing rules
  • Service establishment requirements that acquirers must enforce
  • American Express Global Network fees
  • Fraud/risk requirements for card production and for transactions

Yes, the Business and Operational Policies (BOP) manual and Network Specifications manual are an integral part of agreements executed between the American Express Global Network and Issuers and Acquirers. Therefore, failure to comply with policies and specifications may result in financial liabilities and legal action.

The Merchant Policy Manuals (Merchant Regulations, U.S. and Merchant Operating Manual, Canada) are the policies that apply to merchants acquired directly by American Express. The Business and Operational Policies (BOP) manual contains policies set by the American Express Global Network for licensed Issuers and Acquirers.

The Business and Operational Policies (BOP) manual is a confidential document that contains sensitive proprietary information, and is therefore subject to the confidentiality provisions of our agreements with individual American Express Global Network Issuers and Acquirers.

The official language of our agreements with American Express Global Network Issuers and Acquirers is English, including the Business and Operational Policies (BOP) manual, which forms part of such. 

Next Steps

Learn more about American Express Global Network Policy.

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