We Found Something Strange on This American Express Ad

We Found Something Strange on This American Express Ad

The major credit card issuers are supposed to be pushing EMV credit cards, the new ones with the microchip, right?

Is it not true that the major brands got together one day a few years ago to collectively form a plan to implement EMV chip credit cards in the U.S.? Isn’t our fair nation, after all, the last developed nation to migrate to such?

We thought so.

While catching up recently on a television show I had on my DVR, I couldn’t help but notice something on several of the quirky American Express ads – the ones with Tina Fey – that ran every commercial break.

Those commercials are fantastic. Ms. Fey is a brilliant comedian, and no doubt added her own creativity. Because my company, Instabill, is in the credit card processing space I noticed, what I felt, was a flaw in American Express’ ads.

At the end of each commercial, a close-up appears of a consumer swiping a credit card (a credit card with a chip, mind you) at a checkout area. I received my own AmEx chip-enabled credit card more than a year ago.

Why I’m Bothered By the American Express Commercial

It is common knowledge by now, nearly one year after the EMV liability shift took place, that the party in a transaction with the lesser method of security is responsible for losses in a data breach. Let’s break it down further:

  • If a merchant does not offer the option to pay for an item using the ‘chip and dip’ method (inserting rather than swiping), the merchant is responsible for all losses in a data breach or counterfeit transaction.
  • If the consumer with a chip card swipes even though s/he has the option to insert, the credit card issuing bank is on the hook for losses (Most EMV-ready retailers have point-of-sale software that will reject the swipe if the consumer has a chip card).
  • If a consumer has not been issued an EMV chip-enabled credit card and the merchant is EMV compliant, the consumer’s credit card issuing bank is responsible for all losses in a breach or counterfeit situation.
  • Finally, in the event of a breach where the consumer uses a chip card and the merchant is EMV ready, the credit card issuing bank is liable for losses.

Visa released a terrific infographic for each scenario last October.

Visa Nails it With Rio Olympics Ad

Speaking of Visa, we’re offering big kudos.

Its one-minute commercial titled ‘Carpool to Rio,’ which began airing just prior to the Rio Olympic Games, is terrific – not just because it is entertaining and features athletes in all sports, including those in the Paralympics, it does well to showcase each of the payment features Visa offers.

In fact, it even shows a consumer using her Visa chip card at a gas pump! (The liability shift for gas stations is October of 2017)

In synch with the voice of Morgan Freeman, the last line of the ad says ‘The only way to click, swipe, dip and tap at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,’ and shows each feature in motion.

We love American Express. Most of us here in our Portsmouth, N.H., office are AmEx cardholders. We just feel their commercials need updating.

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