*Update Feb 21st 2022* Amazon have confirmed they and Visa have now come to a global agreement. They will continue to offer Visa credit cards as a valid form of payment. And we’ve come full circle…*
*Update Jan 17th 2022* In a last minute twist of events, Amazon have now changed their mind! In an email to all their customers, they will continue accepting Visa credit cards whilst they work on a solution with Visa. We think the 80%+ market share ownership on card payments might have something to do with it…*
In a controversial decision, Amazon have dropped a bombshell on UK customers. They’ve announced that from the 19th January 2022, they will no longer be accepting UK Visa credit cards as a form of payment.
What did Visa do to annoy them so much?
Actually, it turns out there is some method in their madness. The cost of accepting credit card payments has always been an obstacle for businesses and Amazon is no exception. These either have to be covered by the businesses on the platform or Amazon themselves…and so the frustration becomes clear.
Amazon say they want to be able to continue to offer the best prices for customers. Whilst Visa credit card costs continue to rise in the UK, Amazon don’t want this to have an impact on merchant margins or the prices of products. The main culprit here is the additional cross-border costs that have come from our favourite friend, Brexit. Essentially, Amazon have had enough and are jumping off at the next stop.
Some of this move is owed to the fact that ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ increased through the pandemic, reducing the amount of consumers hammering away at higher interest rate credit cards. With that in mind, Amazon recently announced their partnership with Affirm in the UK, making it easier for customers to buy higher priced items.
Of course it will certainly be inconvenient for a few shoppers. Lots of banks use Visa for their credit cards and, as you can imagine, Visa are not happy about it. Whilst shops are entirely free to choose whatever payment methods they like, Visa say that ‘when consumer choice is limited, nobody wins.’
What credit cards can we use?
All is not lost! There are a few exceptions to this new rule. Visa credit cards issued outside the UK, Visa debit cards and all other credit cards will still be allowed. Effectively, you’re restricted to using a Mastercard. Some say this may be an ulterior motive by Amazon in the hope that more consumers will start using their own line of credit and payment cards, conveniently issued by Mastercard. The plot thickens…
This new rule isn’t being implemented until mid-January so there’s still the option to use your Visa credit card through the holiday season and January sales.
Perhaps when Visa credit card costs start to decline, Amazon will reconsider. For now, make sure you head in and check your preferred payment method so you don’t get caught out.
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