What Is SafeKey® by American Express?

Banking and finance institutions constantly face online threats where cybercriminals are on the hunt to trick into bypassing the defense & safety systems.

Because of that, organizations develop, and in some cases, even share as to what their security measures are, so that they’re able to protect themselves and their customers from vulnerable circumstances — together.

In that same spirit, American Express, as an organization has introduced SafeKey, to safeguard its customers from online fraud.

How SafeKey Works

The entire point of SafeKey is to make sure that the person making the transaction is really you — and hopefully, not some malicious actor. Think of it as a verification system. Although, in many cases, SafeKey is already working in the background, and you don’t even know about it.

Put another way, you won’t be asked to verify your transaction in every instance of SafeKey usage.

As for which scenarios or dollar amounts exactly triggers SafeKey, it’s unknown, but American Express says that their technology QAs every transaction against several data checks & points.

In the event you need to confirm it’s actually you who made the charge, Amex will reach out to you via an email, text, or push notification (if you have their app installed).

SafeKey Experience
The Potential SafeKey Experience. Screenshot captured from the Amex Website.

Generally speaking, SafeKey verification will be a rare occurrence for most of us, but we may experience it once in a while — especially for large purchases.

A Few Other Things To Know About SafeKey

Does Safekey Work With Every Retailer Who Accepts Payments Online?

No, Safekey isn’t a one-way ticket that American Express can implement for all websites and retailers. According to them, a merchant has to be participating/partnering with them on Safekey.

What Happens if You Fail To Authenticate the Transaction in the Given Time Window?

In this situation, the current credit card activity will become invalid, and you will need to start the entire process of charging the card again. (And you may need to verify — again).

Is SafeKey Free To Use?

Yes. It is absolutely free to use at no charge to customers. In fact, you do not even have to register or do anything. This security feature comes with your card.

Is SafeKey Only Restricted to the United States?

No. However, there isn’t necessarily a list that details exactly all U.S. or global partners.

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Short Summary

In a worldwide effort to curb and mitigate online exploits, takeovers, hacks, and more, American Express, in partnership with participating merchants, introduced SafeKey to detect online frauds better & protect online transactions.

And as mentioned, in many instances, SafeKey works behind the scenes; howbeit, in some situations, it may ask you to further verify whether the person responsible for making the online charge in question — is truly you.

Expert Source: American Express