Bluechain launches in Australia with Amex

Bluechain launches in Australia with Amex

Anglo-Australian fintech Bluechain Payments Ltd has partnered with American Express, enabling Bluechain to offer highly competitive rates on Amex card transactions for its rewards payment service in Australia and New Zealand.

Bluechain’s payment platform will assist Amex grow its share of the US$250 trillion bill payments market and allow consumers and businesses to “cardify” their purchases by using an American Express card for almost any payment—even where Amex or other major credit cards are not accepted. A Bluechain user could, for example, pay their council rates with Amex, even though most councils don’t accept Amex cards either when paying online or in person. The cardholder gets the American Express reward points and up to 55 days credit in exchange for paying a convenience fee.

The agreement with American Express has locked in attractive terms for Bluechain, making it possible to offer an attractive 1.95% convenience fee on Amex card transactions, which is significantly lower than its competitors. The agreement with American Express allows Bluechain to process payments to billers worldwide on any Australian or New Zealand card and gives Amex access to previously untapped markets of supplier networks and marketplaces comprising thousands of cardholders.

Bluechain CEO, Mike McAuley, said, “Our launch partners are very excited by the potential of this new reward payments service. Cardholders will be rewarded for payments they previously paid by EFT or direct debits through their bank. And billers will get paid faster by offering discounts to their customers to pay earlier by using the interest-free period on their cards.” Mr McAuley continued, “The service isn’t just for business: consumers can also earn rewards when paying Bluechain retailers and ultimately household bills.”

Bluechain users link their Amex card to their Bluechain profile, and when they receive a bill or a payment request, they simply select when they want the payment to be made, and then approve the bill for payment. The payment process is more secure and much easier than conventional online payment processes, which usually require the customer to type in their name, card number, the expiry date and a three-digit security code.

Businesses paying bills can accumulate Amex points quickly by paying for stock, taxes, utilities, office supplies, wages and more through the Bluechain platform. And they get the added benefit of integration with their accounting package for reconciliation of payments to invoices. The cost is more than recovered by rewards points, early payment discounts, tax benefits, and efficiency gains.

Suppliers who receive payments through Bluechain can offer discounts on their bills to get paid immediately. When they send a bill using Bluechain, they get updated as soon as their customer pays, schedules or rejects a bill. This means they can concentrate their collection efforts on problem accounts. Suppliers can even sign up as Referral Partners and earn on payments made by the customers they onboard, which can be used to fund loyalty programs.

The Bluechain service has the added advantage of being completely secure. The details of a registered customer and their accounts are never revealed to the merchant or biller, so the customer’s personal information can never be stolen or misused.

Following the April launch in Australia, Bluechain plans to launch its reward payments service in New Zealand, Europe and Southern Africa later this year.