Supplier Information

Getting Paid With Virtual Payments

As a supplier, we want to provide you with the key information necessary to process virtual payment transactions. If you accept credit cards, you are already able to accept virtual payments.

Information for Suppliers

This information is intended for suppliers whose clients are paying with an American Express® virtual account. It is the key information necessary to process American Express virtual account transactions.

Good news - if you accept American Express Cards today, you are already able to accept virtual account payments.



What are American Express virtual accounts?

American Express virtual account products enable customers to create specific-use virtual account numbers with transaction-level spend controls and enhanced data capture so that they can easily pay and reconcile expenses.

Can I accept American Express virtual accounts?

American Express virtual accounts are included in your current acceptance contract with American Express.

How do I accept American Express virtual account transactions?

The virtual account number should be entered into your authorization and settlement system/terminal like a standard keyed transaction (such as Card Member-not-present or Card number-on-file).

How do I get paid?

You are paid via the same settlement process as all other American Express Card transactions.

How do I receive the virtual account number?

You will receive the virtual account number using the same process that you have to receive an account number from your customers today. This will be in some form of payment notification. For example you may receive a Purchase Order or you may receive an instruction to pay with the virtual account number included/attached. Process the transaction as you would any other American Express Card transaction.

What if I don't receive a payment notification?

Please contact your corporate customer, the requisitioner or buyer.

What if there is no account number on the payment notification?

Look for additional information that may have been sent separately, for example a second email or document. If you are unable to locate the information, contact your corporate customer, the requisitioner or buyer.

Can I charge only part of the total final payment?

Yes. Credit / charge card regulations require you approve and charge only what has been agreed with your customer. For instance, this may only be for what has been shipped already.

What name and address do I use for the account?

The virtual account is not assigned to an individual, so instead use the company name and address of your corporate customer. This should be found on the payment notification. If the address is not readily available contact your corporate customer, the requisitioner or buyer.

What will happen if I send invoices to my customer’s accounts payable office?

Payment notifications specifying payment by a virtual account should be settled in the same way as a standard American Express Card transaction. Sending an invoice to a central accounts payable office should happen as it would normally unless your current acceptance contract with American Express requires you not to do this. This would only be in situations where you are a recognized level three (level 3) supplier on the American Express network.

What if I receive a decline from an authorization attempt?

First you must check that you are authorizing the correct virtual account for the permitted charges and values, as specified in the payment notification. If the transaction continues to decline you can contact your corporate customer or our Virtual Payments Customer Service Team (contact details at the bottom of this page).

What if I get authorization approval but cannot settle the charge?

Your bank/system processor can walk you through the settlement process, and can assist you with any system issues.

What if I accidentally charge the wrong amount?

The virtual account number is only valid as stated in the received payment notification. You may process a refund against the original virtual account number, but you cannot charge it again. You must contact the originator if you subsequently need to make any further charges.

How many times can I authorize and settle against a virtual account?

This is as has been agreed with your corporate customer. In most cases you can authorize and settle as many times as needed up to the total amount that has been set on the virtual account. In some cases however you may only be able to authorize and settle once and may only be able to authorize and settle for the exact amount agreed for payment. If you have any doubts please contact you corporate customer to confirm how the virtual account has been configured.

What if I cannot read the account number on the payment notification?

Contact your corporate customer, the requisitioner or the buyer who originally issued the account number to you.

What if I need to credit an account?

All credits need to be made back to the same virtual account number as the original charge.

What if an order gets cancelled?

If an order is cancelled before shipment, simply cancel the order as any other. If you have already shipped the goods, the corporate customer, the requisitioner or the buyer should return the goods for credit.

What information will the payment notification have?

The payment notification will contain all information for a virtual account payment to be authorized and settled. This may include contact information, virtual account number and expiration date, business name and address, and typically a reference back to the original order/purchase.

Do I have to use virtual accounts?

Virtual account payments are the preferred payment method of your customer. If you are able to accept American Express Cards then you are able to accept virtual account payments.

Additional Transaction Processing Tips

  • Process the transaction within the agreed date range for authorization – this date range may have been communicated to you on the payment notification. Attempting an authorization before the date range, or after will result in a decline. If these dates have not been provided or has been exceeded contact the buyer.
  • The virtual account number will allow you to charge the payment notification or invoice amount if it has been approved for payment, including tax amounts, if applicable.
  • Follow all special guidelines provided with the payment notification.
  • The payment notification may include payment for more than one order or invoice.
  • Authorize and request settlement only for what has been agreed with your customer.
  • For each partial payment, ensure you obtain a new authorization approval code.
  • Do not settle without an authorization approval code. This is against credit/charge card regulations and can result in a charge back.

Who can I contact for further questions?

If you have virtual account questions please contact our Virtual Payments Customer Service Team. For all other inquiries, please contact American Express Global Merchant Services.

Country Contact (phone) Contact (email) Opening Hours
Europe +44 (0) 2030 273 252 Please reach out via phone, following the options “Purchasing” then “Merchant” Monday – Friday 08:00 – 17:00 GMT
US 1-800-279-6069 cemshelp@aexp.com Monday – Friday 08:00 – 18:00 MST
Mexico 01-800-253-0802 Please reach out via phone Monday – Friday 09:00 – 18:00 CST
Australia 1 300 363 614 Please reach out via phone Monday – Friday 08:00 – 18:00 AEST
Canada 1-866-858-1916 corpcdapa@aexp.com Monday – Friday 08:00 – 20:00 EST

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