NEWS

Suppliers and consumers react with shock as Amazon stops Visa credit purchases

Published on: 18th November 2021

The online retailer Amazon will stop accepting payments made on Visa credit cards in January, citing ‘high fees’. 

Amazon has announced that from 19th January 2022 it will cease accepting payments made on Visa credit cards in a move that has left suppliers and consumers alike shocked and frustrated. The retailer, which is owned by Jeff Bezos – whose net worth is more than $200b – has blamed what it calls ‘high fees’ for its decision.

In an email sent out to users, it said:

“We’re writing to notify you of an upcoming change to Amazon.co.uk.

Starting 19 Jan, 2022, we will unfortunately no longer accept any Visa credit cards issued in the UK, due to the high fees Visa charges for processing credit card transactions. You can still use debit cards (including Visa debit cards) and non-Visa credit cards like Mastercard, Amex, and Eurocard to make purchases. We’ll give you £20 off your next purchase the first time you set any debit or non-Visa credit card as default, subject to the terms and conditions at the end of this email.

You can update your Prime membership here, and if you have any subscriptions on Amazon.co.uk, you can update them on the ”manage your subscription” page here.

We know this may be inconvenient, and we’re here to help you through this transition so you can continue enjoying Amazon’s low prices and wide selection. Please visit this help page for more information on payment methods, or go directly to your account.”

With American Express cards not accepted at many UK retailers, financial experts have said those wishing to continue using credit cards for everyday shopping may find themselves forced to use a Mastercard instead. Paying for large purchases using a credit card is widely thought to be the safest method, as it offers protections in the case of faulty, lost or mis-advertised products, or companies that go out of business.

In a statement, Visa said it was ‘very disappointed that Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice in the future’, adding: “When consumer choice is limited, nobody wins. We have a longstanding relationship with Amazon, and we continue to work toward a resolution, so our cardholders can use their preferred Visa credit cards at Amazon UK without Amazon-imposed restrictions come January 2022.”

It has been noted that while it’s dispute with Visa goes back some months, Amazon has a much closer relationship with Mastercard: in 2017 it launched the Amazon Platinum Mastercard, which offers customers rewards and money back when they buy on the platform.

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