American Express (AmEx) is reportedly handing out businesses sign-on bonuses to accept its card as part of its strategy compete with rivals Visa and Mastercard.

The payment, according to media reports, could range from less than $10,000 to nearly $450,000.

It allows merchants to offset the cost incurred on setting up infrastructure required to accept AmEx card payments, reported The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Historically, AmEx has focused on catering to the needs of wealthy clients and ignored mass-affluent customers.

As a result, the company could not compete against Mastercard and Visa in capturing the mass-market share in the US.

AmEx started training its internal salespeople to sign up new merchants in 2016 with an aim to reduce this gap by 2019.

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By GlobalData

AmEx CEO Stephen Squeri told the publication that the company is moving on the right direction to achieve its goal despite a difficult payment landscape.

AmEx head of global merchant and network services Anré Williams told the WSJ that the firm is providing financial help to some businesses to help compensate technical and marketing expenses.

Since 2017, it has signed up over three million business locations.

AmEx “made a business decision to provide targeted sign-on incentives to strategic, priority holdout merchants, which comprise a tiny fraction of a percent of the merchants we acquire in a year,” Williams added.