System Upgrade

Innovative solutions to benefit your Company

At American Express, our priority is to continue providing innovative payment solutions that meet the specific needs of your Company through our expense management programmes. In order to improve our service/ product offerings and to provide flexibility and customization to our clients, we are upgrading our technology platform which will be implemented in September 2013.

With this technology upgrade, you will have new and innovative ways to manage your business expenses more effectively through the Corporate Card Programme, resulting in process improvements and better expense management.

Here, we have created a comprehensive summary of changes and the impact it will have on the way you currently manage the Corporate Card Programme for your Company. Please take time to review the changes in features and capabilities due to this technology upgrade.

Managing and controlling your Corporate Card Programme

Control Account Number

Currently, your Corporate Card Programme has a 6 digit Control Account Number(s) Basic Control Account (BCA), Intermediate Control Account (ICA) and Master Control Account (MCA).

After the System Upgrade, the Control Account Number(s) i.e. BCA, ICA and MCA Number length will change from 6 digits to 15 digits and the format will change as per the example below

System Upgrade

What this means for your Company
  -  The new 15 digit Control Account Number facilitates easy identification of Company locations for American Express clients operating
     across multiple markets.
  -  The change in the Control Account Number from 6 to 15 digits will reflect in:
       Cardmember applications and other forms used to enrol for American Express products and services. Click here for accessing the
         Application forms Online
       Reports, statements, data files and Global Online Program Management (GOPM)

Programme Hierarchy Additional Hierarchy Level

Currently, your Corporate Card Programme hierarchy have the following levels:
Legal Entity Master Control Account (MCA)
Department (Optional) Intermediate Control Account (ICA)
Product Basic Control Account (BCA)

After the System Upgrade, an additional hierarchy layer Local Control Account (LCA) will be introduced above the MCA. Standalone BCA's which are referred to as BMCA (i.e. BCA as MCA) will not be supported. All BCA's (Basic Control Account) will be allocated an MCA and LCA.
The diagram below shows an example of the new hierarchy:

System Upgrade

What this means for your Company
  -  LCA will be added above all existing MCA's
  -  For all existing standalone BCA's, an MCA and LCA will be created
  -  Additional layers in hierarchy will enable us to develop reporting capabilities at higher levels of hierarchy for your Company in the future

Programme Hierarchy Corporate Meeting Card

Currently, Corporate Meeting Card (CMC) is classified as a business-to-business (B2B) product within the Programme hierarchy.

After the System Upgrade, CMC will be reclassified as a Travel and Entertainment (T&E) product. The diagram below illustrates this change.

System Upgrade

What this means for your Company
  -  This reclassification aligns India with other American Express markets worldwide. If your Company uses American Express Corporate      Cards regionally or globally, reconciliation and expense analysis will be more consistent
  -  If you have a Corporate Purchasing Card (CPC) and a Corporate Meeting Card (CMC) under the same MCA, a new MCA will be created      and the CMC product moved under the new MCA
  -  This change in hierarchy will be reflected in reports and data files
  -  Going forward CMC Cards can be issued under the same MCA as your T&E products or placed under a new MCA in case your Company      does not have an existing T&E relationship.

Central Card Distribution (CCD)

Currently, if your Company has requested for Central Card Distribution, all new and replacement Cards are delivered to a nominated central recipient in a single package. The package also contains a list of the Cards enclosed.

After the System Upgrade, all new and replacement Cards will be packaged and delivered in separate envelopes to the nominated central recipient. The list will no longer be provided as each Card will be delivered to the nominated central recipient individually

What this means for your Company
  -  This ensures an easier and safer dispatch of Cards to Cardmembers, as each Card is in a separately sealed packet
  -  Cards will continue to be delivered to the nominated central recipient

Making payment on your monthly statements and account fees

Billing Cycle Cut-Off dates

Currently, there are 10 billing cycles each month (i.e. 0 - 9), with each cycle having a 2-3 day cycle cut variation, every month.You can refer to the column "Current Cycle Cut Date" in the table below for details.

After the System Upgrade, these 10 billing cycles (i.e. 0-9) will have fixed cycle cut dates every month. You can refer to the column "New Billing Date" in the table below for details.

System Upgrade

What this means for your Company
  -  Based on your current billing cycle, a fixed cycle cut date will be allocated to you
  -  Having a fixed date provides more predictability and helps with planning and scheduling your payments
  -  Your current payment terms and method will remain unchanged

Common Anniversary

Currently, if your Company is using the Common Anniversary feature, all American Express Corporate Cards issued to your Company will have a Common Expiry Date and a Common date on which Annual fees is charged (Annual fees charged will vary from Company to Company).This date is known as the Common Anniversary.

After the System Upgrade, Cards issued to new Cardmembers will not have a Common Expiry Date. The expiry date will depend on the date of Card issue each Corporate Card will expire after 4 years from the date of issuance.

What this means for your Company
  -  The expiry date for existing Cardmembers in your Company will not change
  -  If any existing Cardmembers apply for a replacement Card they will be issued a new Card with a new expiry date which may not be the      same as of the Corporate Cards held by other employees in your Company
  -  If an employee applies for a new American Express Corporate Card, this Card may not have the same expiry date as other Cards in your      Company
  - "Common Anniversary" will still be used as a reference for Annual fees

Annual Fee Structure

Currently, the American Express Corporate Card Programme has a 10-tier sliding scale annual fees structure.

After the System Upgrade, the 10-tier sliding scale annual fee structure will be replaced by a 6-tier sliding scale annual fee structure. This change is illustrated in the table below:

System Upgrade

What this means for your Company
  -  Annual fees charged varies from company to company. For more details on how your Company's Annual Fees structure will change as a      result of the system upgrade, please get in touch with your Account Representative
  -  Your Company's current payment terms and methods will remain unchanged


Currently, the monthly American Express Card statement provides Cardmembers with details of all charges billed to the Card for that month including both domestic and overseas expenses. The monthly Card statement also captures details such as payment due date and your choice of payment method.

To enable even greater visibility of monthly business expenses, we are in the process of making several enhancements to the Card statements.

After the System Upgrade, Cardmembers will see the following changes in the Card statements:
  -  New fields: 'Payment Due Date' and 'Total Balance' will replace existing fields: 'Please Pay by' and 'New Balance', respectively in the
  -  New Sections: Total Payment and Other Account Transactions (for American Express initiated charges like annual fee and late     payment fee) will appear in the statement
  -  Service Tax will appear as a new line item in the statement
  -  Additional descriptive charge billing and description of charge diverted to another Card account (in case of a central fee bill      account) will be introduced in the statement

The illustration below shows changes in the American Express Corporate Card statement. Please note that these enhancements will also reflect in the statements of American Express, Gold and Platinum Corporate Cards, American Express Corporate Purchasing Card, American Express Corporate Meeting Card and Diversion Fee Account.

System Upgrade

What this means for Cardmembers
  -  New financial fields like Payment Due Date and Total Payment will be introduced for better accounting experience
  -  Additional descriptive charge billing in the statement will offer more visibility
  -  New sections such as, Other Account Transactions (for American Express initiated charges) and Diverted Charges will be introduced      to give more flexibility and ease of understanding

Business Travel Account Late Payment Fees

Currently, whether your American Express Business Travel Account (BTA) is on 45 or 60-day Late Payment Fees (LPF), in the event your Company does not make the full payment before the cut-off date, the LPF charged appears in your next month's statement.

After the System Upgrade, any LPF charged to your BTA account will reflect in one statement later, than they currently are.

What this means for your Company
  -  Your Company's current payment terms and methods will remain unchanged

Central Direct Debit (CDD) Late Payment Fees

Currently, if your Company uses the Central Direct Debit (CDD) feature, you have access to the CDD account statement that shows consolidated amount due along with central account generated transactions such as return Direct Debit (DD) fees and LPFs.

In case of a late payment/ DD request failure, a Return Fee of S$50 is charged to the CDD account, irrespective of the outstanding amount on the account.

After the System Upgrade, the Central Direct Debit account will no longer exist as a separate account.

The Central Direct Debit statement will not be generated and the Remittance Advice and Cardmember Activity Report from Information @ Work will work as a replacement.

Individual corporate Card accounts will age if payments are not settled on time and will be charged LPF as per their payment terms. Return Fees will no longer be charged.

What this means for your Company
  -  The information contained on the Central Direct Debit Statement can be obtained from the Remittance Advice and Cardmember      Activity Report which are available on Information @ Work
  -  In case of a returned Direct Debit the individual card account will reflect the balance and age
  -  Late Payment Fees, if applicable, will also reflect at the individual account level
  -  There is no change in the way Direct Debit will be processed. A single Direct Debit request will be sent to your account as it is      currently

Accessing online tools and support

Data files

Currently, Data Files (GL/GM and KR files) are used by your Company to automate and incorporate the Corporate Card data into your ERP or Expense Management Systems. You can access files in excel format in an easy way and upload them to your system.

After the System Upgrade, there is
  -  No change in file format
  -  No change in file length
  -  No change in file name or delivery mechanism
  -  No change in the number of files being generated for your Company
  -  No new codes being introduced
The only change is the content or data in some of the fields in the Data Files due to the way information is populated in the new system. In some cases you will see that we will provide enhanced and improved data e.g. State, City, etc.

Click Here to view the list of all the changes in the GL/GM and KR files.

What this means for your Company
  -  The way your Company receives the Data Files, as well as the format and the codes used within the files will remain the same.
  -  We would like to understand how you are using the data. If you are simply taking the data files and processing the files without any      complex logic built around a combination of codes and names then the migration should be seamless for you
  -  An American Express representative would already have contacted you or will soon be in touch with someone from your Technology      team

Corporate Account Reconciliation (CAR)

Currently, CAR is a web-based reconciliation tool that enables your Company to automatically reconcile and integrate transaction data for all purchases made with the Corporate Purchasing Card.

After the System Upgrade, as a one-time activity, new CAR sites will be set up since the Control Account Number is changing from 6 to 15 digits. For each of the existing CAR sites, a corresponding new CAR site will be created.

What this means for your Company
  -  New CAR sites will be created and will be viewable after the upgrade
  -  You will have to view data in two sites for a short period after the upgrade, since data up until conversion date will be loaded in existing      site and after upgrade the data will be loaded to the new site
  -  For the first cycle cut after conversion you will have to generate two output files and pass it to the GL system. If you have issues      processing two files in your GL system, American Express will support you in merging of the two files
  -  The CAR system will not be available to you for 3 to 4 days during the upgrade. Exact outage dates will be communicated to you      shortly.

Contact Us

Should you have questions on the System Upgrade and what it means for you, please contact your American Express Account Representative or Click Here for the helpline numbers.