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American Express Offers Security Online

American Express Offers Security For Online Shoppers

AUCKLAND ( Nov. 1, 2000) – American Express announced today the launch of an Online Guarantee for all New Zealand Cardmembers. This guarantee ensures that American Express Cardmembers will not be held responsible for any unauthorised charges made on their Cards while shopping over the internet.

Anna Hynes, country manager for American Express in New Zealand, said the Online Guarantee is designed to give New Zealanders confidence that shopping over the internet with their American Express Card is totally secure.

“Our research shows that people are concerned about the security of their credit cards when using them over the net. The Online Guarantee makes it 100% safe for Cardmembers to use their card at any site that accepts American Express,” Ms Hynes said.

“If Cardmembers discover any fraudulent transaction has taken place with their American Express Card as a result of an online shopping trip, then they will not be held responsible for it. It is as simple as that, ” Ms Hynes said.

The guarantee applies for all New Zealand Cardmembers shopping on the web, regardless of where the site is based.

The Online Guarantee has been introduced because there is growing evidence that New Zealanders are concerned that shopping over the net is risky. According to an American Express survey, nearly a fifth of New Zealanders are worried about the security of shopping online.

American Express Cardmembers are frequent shoppers on the net, and this new guarantee explicitly extends the fraud protection they have always enjoyed in the real world, to the virtual world. There will be absolutely no fee or charge for Card members who are defrauded as a result of an internet transaction.

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The protection covers all of the American Express card products, including Green and Gold Charge Cards, the American Express Blue Credit Card, The Platinum Card, the American Express Business Card and American Express Corporate Cards.

Should a Cardmember notice any fraudulent activity on their Card, they are requested to contact American Express as soon as possible.

The Online Guarantee is in addition to the American Express Cardmember Terms and Conditions. These already ensure that if Cardmembers are billed for merchandise online that never arrives, they can arrange a credit for the transaction through American Express.

About American Express:

The American Express Company, which is celebrating it 150th anniversary this year, is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company. Founded in 1850, it is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking. For more information about American Express, visit the worldwide web site at http://www.americanexpress.co.nz.

For further information:

Mark Reynolds
Public Affairs
American Express New Zealand
Tel: 09 3674370

American Express Privacy Protection Policy

 We collect only customer information that is needed, and we tell customers how we use it. We limit the collection of information about our customers to what we need to know to administer their accounts, to provide customer services, to offer new products and services, and to fulfill any legal and regulatory requirements. We tell our customers about the general uses of information we collect about them, and we will provide additional explanation if customers request it.
 We give customers choices about how their data will be used. On a regular basis, we give our customers the option to decide whether or not they wish to have their names removed from lists used for mail, telephone and online marketing. These opt-out choices include product and service offers from American Express and those made in conjunction with our business partners.
 We ensure information quality. We use advanced technology and well-defined employee practices to help ensure that customer data is processed promptly, accurately and completely. We require high standards of quality from the consumer reporting agencies and others who provide us with information about prospective customers.
 We use information security safeguards. Access to customer data is limited to those who specifically need it to conduct their business responsibilities. We use security techniques designed to protect our customer data -- especially when certain data is used by employees and business partners to fulfill customer services.
 We limit the release of customer information. In addition to providing customers with the opportunity to opt out of marketing offers, we release information only with the customers' consent or request, or when required to do so by law or other regulatory authority. When a court order or subpoena requires us to release information, we notify the customer promptly to give the customer an opportunity to exercise his or her legal rights. The only exceptions to this policy are when we are prohibited by court order or law from notifying the customer, or cases in which fraud and/or criminal activity is suspected.
 We are responsive to customers' requests for explanations. If we deny an application for our services or end a customer's relationship with us, to the extent permitted by applicable laws, we provide an explanation, if requested. We state the reasons for the action taken and the information upon which the decision was based, unless the issue involves potential criminal activity. Medical information about an applicant for insurance, or an insured individual, may be disclosed to a physician designated by the customer rather than to the customer directly.
 We extend these privacy principles to our business relationships. We expect the companies we select as our business partners to honour our privacy principles in the handling of customer information. These include companies that (a) assist us in providing services to our customers; (b) supply us with information for identifying or evaluating prospective customers; or (c) are given the opportunity to send mailings to approved American Express customer lists. In selecting business partners, American Express considers the accuracy and quality of the data they provide, how they respond to consumer complaints and whether or not they provide opt-out choices for those whose information they process. We also participate actively in industry associations to support strong and effective privacy guidelines and practices.
 We hold employees responsible for our privacy principles. Each American Express employee is personally responsible for maintaining consumer confidence in the company. We provide training and communications programs designed to educate employees about the meaning and requirements of these Customer Privacy Principles. We conduct internal audits and commission outside-expert reviews of our compliance with the privacy principles and the specific policies and practices that support the principles. Employees who violate these principles or other company policies and practices are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Employees are expected to report violations -- and may do so confidentially -- to their managers, to their business unit's compliance officer, or to the company's Office of the Ombudsperson.

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