On the eve of Black Friday Amazon is sending an email to some of its customers in the UK in which it suggests them to change the default payment method: as of January 19, 2022, credit cards issued by the Visa international circuit will no longer be accepted
Credit cards are one of the most widely used payment methods on Amazon and all other online shops: they are convenient, secure and traceable and, above all, very often do not provide costs (apart from the fixed monthly ones) for those who buy. But even if the user does not pay anything to authorize the transaction, it is not said that there are no commissions charged to the online store. And, in fact, there are and according to Amazon in some cases are too high.
Reason why Amazon UK has decided to say stop, from January 19, 2022, to Visa credit cards issued in the United Kingdom. Nothing changes outside the UK, where no similar measure has been announced at the moment. Nor does anything change for debit cards or other types of electronic payments, which will also be accepted after January 19. Amazon is already sending warning emails to its UK customers who have registered a Visa card as default payment method, in which it explains the reasons for the decision. Reasons that hint at the fact that, in the future, this choice of Amazon could be expanded to other countries.
Visa card on Amazon: the email
The news of the stop to Visa credit cards on Amazon in the UK was spread on Twitter by Steve Dresser, Managing Director of Grocery Insights, and relayed by the BBC. The email sent by Amazon to Dresser, who is a Prime customer and has registered a Visa card as his default payment method, clarifies how things stand.
"Dear Steven Dresser, We are writing to you about a new feature coming to Amazon.co.uk. As of January 19, 2022, we will unfortunately no longer accept Visa credit cards issued in the UK, due to the high fees Visa charges to process credit card transactions," so reads the email.
Then Amazon also specifies that "You can continue to use debit cards (including Visa cards) and non-Visa credit cards." Finally, the e-commerce giant invites users to change their preferred payment method by removing their Visa card and replacing it with another method.
Brexit has nothing to do with it
You might believe that at the origin of the Visa fees that are displeasing Amazon is the Brexit, i.e. the UK's exit from the European economic space. But the BBC reminds us that this is not the case, as both Amazon and Visa have stated that the Brexit has not affected the commissions.
Visa says that any limitation to the payment methods accepted by Amazon is a loss for the end user, and states that the average commission it charges online stores to process transactions amounts to just 0.1%.
Whoever is right, the issue doesn't change: Amazon has chosen to say goodbye to Visa credit cards in the UK and could do so in the future (even with cards from other circuits, such as MasterCard, Cirrus/Maestro, Diners, American Express) at any time, even in other countries, if it considers the fees too high.
Or, as the BBC itself speculates, Amazon's move could lead Visa to accept a compromise agreement before January 19, 2022. In that case, Amazon would return to accepting this payment method on its UK site as well.