Amazon has escalated its fight with Visa: Starting on January 19th, 2022, the e-commerce giant will stop accepting Visa credit cards issued in the UK. It notified Amazon UK customers in an email about the change, blaming the high fees Visa charges for credit card transactions. Buyers can at least continue using their Visa credit cards throughout the holidays, but after that, they'd have to switch to a Visa debit card or another credit card like a Mastercard or an AMEX.
An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement:
"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. With the rapidly changing payments landscape around the world, we will continue innovating on behalf of customers to add and promote faster, cheaper, and more inclusive payment options to our stores across the globe."
Meanwhile, a Visa spokesperson said the company is disappointed that "Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice in the future." They added: "When consumer choice is limited, nobody wins." They also said that Visa is working towards a resolution with the e-commerce giant so that cardholders can keep on using their UK-issued Visa credit cards on the website "without Amazon-imposed restrictions come January 2022." It's worth noting that Amazon has a much better relationship with other credit card providers. The e-commerce giant currently has a partnership with Mastercard for consumer credit cards and with AMEX for business cards in the UK.
The companies may be engaging in a public war in an effort to get better terms from each other. Amazon has been putting pressure on the credit card brand over the past few months and started imposing a 0.5 percent surcharge on Visa credit card purchases on its Singapore website on September 15th. A month-and-a-half after that, Amazon also started imposing a surcharge on Visa transactions in Australia. In both instances, the company offered customers a gift card (AU$20 and SG$30) to add an alternative payment method that isn't a Visa credit card.