Amazon has stunned the UK consumer market with the news that from January 2022, it will not accept UK-issued Visa credit cards for payments.
Sky News reported that Amazon has made the move, blaming a “high cost of payments” when customers use UK Visa cards.
Amazon broke the news when it emailed customers on Wednesday morning to confirm the move would take effect from 19 January. It reportedly said that no other credit cards, or Visa debit cards, would be included in the ban.
This means that Visa credit cards issued outside of the UK will also be exempt from the Amazon ban.
Amazon admitted its decision was “inconvenient”, but that it had taken the decision because of the “high fees Visa charges for processing credit card transactions” on its UK cards.
“The cost of accepting card payments continues to be an obstacle for businesses striving to provide the best prices for customers,” an Amazon spokesperson was quoted by Sky News as saying.
“These costs should be going down over time with technological advancements, but instead they continue to stay high or even rise,” the spokesperson reportedly said.
“As a result of Visa’s continued high cost of payments, we regret that Amazon.co.uk will no longer accept UK-issued Visa credit cards as of 19 January, 2022,” the spokesperson concluded.
Amazon has urged customers to update their default payment method.
“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,” it reportedly said in its email.
But as would be expected, the good has not gone down well at Visa UK.
“UK shoppers can use their Visa debit and credit cards at Amazon UK today and throughout the holiday season,” a Visa spokesperson was quoted by Sky News as saying.
“We are very disappointed that Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice in the future,” the Visa spokesperson added.
“When consumer choice is limited, nobody wins,” the spokesperson said. “We have a long-standing 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.”
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