American Express, the world’s largest card issuer by purchase volume and the largest integrated payments platform, has aggressively expanded its merchant coverage in India averaging 500 new merchant sign-ups per day across the country in 2017.
According to Anurag Gupta, Vice President & Head, Global Merchant Services, American Express “We observed huge growth opportunity beyond the four metros and in the past year our focus has been to capitalize upon this. I am very happy to share that in 2017 we added nearly 1,80,000 merchants accepting American Express cards*. We have now have significantly improved our acceptance in categories that our Card-members spend in, such as restaurants, retail outlets, healthcare providers, hotels and fuel stations. We have received positive feedback from our Card members on enhanced acceptance and are exploring newer partnerships and innovative payment solutions to continue this pace of new merchant acquisition.”
American Express is focusing on driving adoption across small merchants who cater to everyday spending. It will now also be accepted at the Canteen Stores Department (CSD), a Government of India Enterprise with over 3,500 Unit-run Canteens in all major military bases operated by the Indian Armed Forces. Commenting on this, Anurag said, “CSD is the largest retail chain in India, selling a wide variety of products across categories. We are thrilled to be accepted at CSD through State Bank of India (SBI) and look forward to serving over 3 million defence personnel across India.”
Tie-ups with ICICI and SBI have resulted in significant growth in merchant base for American Express. The card is widely accepted across major online portals and aggregators. Speaking on this, Anurag added, “Payment innovations such as Bharat QR and partnerships with ICICI and SBI drove growth in new merchant adoptions across major cities and destination markets. With 46% growth (YTD) in merchant terminals accepting Amex, we are among the fastest-growing networks in the market. Our merchant coverage has grown by almost 3x in the past five years.”
American Express drives higher returns for merchants as its premium card members spend three times higher than industry average. The company is also a global and country leader in the Corporate spends category. As American Express partners, merchants enjoy many benefits including free fire and theft insurance, priority servicing, standardized product-agnostic fee structure, besides other value added services.
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