Amazon will cease accepting funds from Visa bank cards issued within the UK from January nineteenth, 2022. Prospects will nonetheless be capable of use Visa debit playing cards issued within the UK, in addition to bank cards issued by MasterCard, American Specific, and other firms.

Amazon is obstructing UK bank cards from Visa as a part of an ongoing battle over “interchange” charges — levies charged by card issuers to a service provider’s financial institution for every transaction. Visa’s interchange charges for transactions between the UK and the European Union (the place Amazon UK processes funds) had been beforehand capped at 0.3 p.c by EU legislation. However because the UK left the EU, Visa has been in a position to hike that fee to 1.5 p.c.

Nonetheless, Visa isn’t the one firm to make such a change. MasterCard made an identical increase to its interchange charges earlier than Visa, nevertheless it hasn’t been blocked by Amazon. It’s not solely clear why Visa has been singled out. It could merely be a strategic determination on Amazon’s half — to harm one firm as a substitute of taking up a complete business. Or there could also be particular problems in Visa’s cost insurance policies. For instance, Bloomberg notes that the corporate has elevated interchange charges for e-commerce websites, whereas decreasing charges in different areas, like training and actual property purchases. It’s not clear if insurance policies from MasterCard or different card issuers make comparable distinctions.

In a press release from an Amazon, the corporate stated:

“The cost of accepting card payments continues to be an obstacle for businesses striving to provide the best prices for customers. These costs should be going down over time with technological advancements, but instead they continue to stay high or even rise. 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. Customers can continue to use all debit cards (including Visa debit cards) and other non-Visa credit cards to shop on Amazon.co.uk.”

Whereas a spokesperson for Visa told BBC News:

“UK shoppers can use their Visa debit and credit cards at Amazon UK today and throughout the holiday season. We are very disappointed that Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice in the future. When consumer choice is limited, nobody wins. 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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