SafeKey for Merchants

Partner with American Express to grow your online business while protecting against online fraud

What it is

As online shopping grows increasingly prevalent, so do concerns about fraudulent transactions. Online fraud can affect your business in a number of ways, such as lost sales, harm to your brand, and liability for fraud costs. Preventing fraud is an ongoing priority for American Express. Our efforts have helped us achieve fraud rates that are among the lowest in the industry.


American Express SafeKey® leverages the global industry standard, 3-D Secure®, to detect and reduce online fraud by adding an extra layer of security when Card Members shop online. Card Member data*, such as name, email address, phone number, shipping address, and shipping method, can help identify legitimate and fraudulent transactions more accurately. Through an issuer’s use of risk-based authentication methods, SafeKey can reduce friction and offer a more streamlined checkout experience.


Building consumer confidence can help expand your market reach. Enhanced fraud protection through SafeKey may encourage your current online customers to spend more and help you grow your business by attracting new customers to start spending on your secure site. 


* This feature is only available to merchants in the U.S. and its territories. 

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Card not present fraud is expected to be nearly four times greater than point-of-sale card fraud by 2018.


Source: “What’s ahead for online fraud in 2016,” Mobile Payments Today, Dec. 27, 2015. 

Benefits for Merchants

Increase profitability

  • Helps customers feel more secure about online purchases and increases their confidence to spend.
  • Gives flexibility to target and capture customer segments that may be deemed riskier, like international markets, while limiting chargeback risk.
  • Helps reduce friction, which can result in fewer cart abandonments. 

Optimize operational efficiency by reducing the costs of fraud

  • Transfers liability for chargebacks on SafeKey transactions to the issuing bank, known as the Global Fraud Liability Shift (FLS) Policy, so your business is not responsible for those losses on eligible transactions if the bank has authenticated the purchase via SafeKey.
  • Helps decrease the need for resources dedicated to chargebacks.
  • Works alongside existing fraud tools to validate a Card Member’s identity.

Provide an increase in frictionless SafeKey checkout experiences for your customers

  • Data elements*, such as name, email address, phone number, and shipping information can reduce the need for customer effort during authentication, which can lead to a higher conversion of good-quality sales.


*This feature is only available to merchants in the U.S. and its territories. 

Enrollment & implementation

  1. Click the Enroll now button to get started.

    Enroll now
  2. Complete online enrollment form, accept Terms & Conditions, and submit. 

  3. Receive e-mail from SafeKey Certification Team with your SafeKey ID and next steps.

  4. SafeKey Certification Team gets approval from Acquirer.

  5. Acquirer and SafeKey Certification Team complete required setup.

  6. Merchant receives notification when process is complete.