American Express unveiled a new effort Friday to combat credit-card fraud with a big assist - from President Obama.

He announced the American Express Small Merchant EMV Assistance Program during a news conference in Washington, detailing a $10 million initiative designed to help merchants defray the cost of replacing check-out terminals with ones that will accept secure, chip-based credit cards.

So-called EMV technology offers greater payment security by storing data on a chip embedded in a credit card, assuming payment terminals are equipped to read the chip. Eligible merchants who upgrade their terminals can request a one-time, $100 reimbursement by April 30, at

American Express also plans to distribute educational materials on EMV technology, as well as hold webinars, forums and other events. The undertaking, to launch in February, was lauded by the National Retail Federation.

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