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Amazon U-turn on Visa card ban

Written by: Emma Lunn
The online giant has permanently scrapped plans to ban payments by UK-issued Visa credit cards after reaching a worldwide agreement with Visa.

The move brings the long-running dispute to a conclusion which means Amazon customers in the UK can continue to pay by Visa credit card indefinitely.

Amazon announced the Visa credit card ban in November and blamed the high cost of processing payments for the decision. Online card payments attract a range of fees including interchange fees and other transaction charges.

At the time customers were sent an email saying: “Starting 19 January 2022, we will unfortunately no longer accept Visa credit cards issued in the UK, due to the high fees Visa charges for processing credit card transactions.”

But Amazon suspended the ban at the last minute on 17 January saying it was still negotiating with Visa.

The two companies have now announced they have reached a ‘global agreement’ on the issue. The new agreement sees Amazon’s threat to block Visa credit card payments on its UK store dropped, while the surcharge applied to the use of Visa credit cards on Amazon’s Australian and Singaporean sites will be lifted from today.

A Visa spokesperson said: “Visa is pleased to have reached a broad, global agreement with Amazon. This agreement includes the acceptance of Visa at all Amazon stores and sites today, as well as a joint commitment to collaboration on new product and technology initiatives to ensure innovative payment experiences for our customers in the future.”

An Amazon spokesperson said: “We’ve recently reached a global agreement with Visa that allows all customers to continue using their Visa credit cards in our stores. Amazon remains committed to offering customers a payment experience that is convenient and offers choice.”

Ele Clark, senior editor at Which? Money, said: “It is welcome news that Amazon and Visa have agreed a deal for Amazon to continue accepting Visa credit cards.

“Using a credit card to pay offers shoppers valuable legal protections that debit cards can’t, and removing this option for Visa cardholders would have meant fewer rights for millions of consumers.

“However, there have been long-standing concerns about credit card fees, and this affects both customers and businesses. The regulator must urgently take forward its proposals to examine whether card fees are fair and what impact this will have on competition.”

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