American Express (NYSE:AXP) has teamed up withHeartland Payment Systems (NYSE:HPY)  to offer a streamlined process that enables small and midsize businesses to accept American Express cards on Heartland's merchant processing platform.

Starting in the second half of 2008, merchants who are new to American Express Card acceptance will have a single source for statements, settlement and customer service provided by Heartland on behalf of American Express. American Express will retain its card acceptance contract with participating merchants, continue to establish merchant pricing and receive transactional information.

"Until today, owners of small and mid-sized business had to deal with two separate platforms for card processing: one for American Express and one for all other cards," Bob Carr, chairman and CEO of Heartland Payment Systems, said in a statement. "Our agreement with American Express simplifies card processing for these business owners."