Amazon has stopped accepting Visa credit cards issued in the U.K., citing high fees

Amazon has stopped accepting Visa credit cards issued in the U.K.

November 18, 2021: -Amazon plans to stop accepting payments made via Visa credit cards issued in the U.K. in the coming year.

The e-commerce giant has told some customers that, from January 19 onward, the company will not accept Visa credit cards issued in Britain anymore ”due to the high fees Visa charges for processing credit card transactions.”

Visa shares decreased 2.5% in U.S. premarket trading. Visa earlier this year hiked the interchange fees it charges merchants for digital processing transactions between the U.K. and the European Union.

After Brexit, an E.U. cap on interchange fees no longer applies in the U.K., permitting card networks to raise their charges.

Mastercard has increased its U.K.-EU interchange fees.

Amazon customers were told they would still use debit cards, including those issued by Visa and non-Visa credit cards such as Mastercard and American Express. Users are being encouraged to update their default payment method ahead of the changes. Bloomberg first reported the news.

Visa said it was “very disappointed that Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice in the future.”

“U.K. shoppers using their Visa debit and credit cards at Amazon U.K. today and throughout the holiday season,” a Visa spokesperson told CNBC.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Amazon, and we keep working  toward a resolution, so our cardholders can use their preferred Visa credit cards at Amazon U.K. without Amazon-imposed restrictions come January 2022.”

Amazon had blasted the Visa for its high card charges. “The cost of accepting card payments keeps going to be an obstacle for businesses striving to provide the best prices for customers,” a spokesperson for the company said.

“These costs should be going down over time with technological advancements, but instead, they continue to stay high or even rise,” he added.

The move could be seen as a way for Amazon to get some bargaining power over Visa to lower its fees. The payments firm also charges businesses scheme fees to become part of its network.

While smaller retailers cannot negotiate, Amazon, given its size, may have better luck.

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