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Amazon suspends ban on Visa payments

Amazon suspends ban on Visa payments

Amazon has deferred its plan to stop customers using Visa credit cards at the last minute, says the Independent.

After vowing to refuse to accept Visa as of 19 January - due to what it perceived to be punchy charges for processing credit card transactions - multinational tech giant, Amazon, has confirmed the change will not take place, for now.

With the prospect of countless customers being prevented from purchasing goods on its e-commerce platform, Amazon is currently working on a “potential solution” with Visa, a statement revealed.

Visa has corroborated this development in its own statement: “Amazon customers can continue to use Visa cards on Amazon.co.uk after January 19, while we work closely together to reach an agreement.”

Neil Smith, head of strategic partnerships, EMEA & APAC, Forter, commented that the suspension of the Visa ban is “hardly surprising; there has been plenty of speculation in recent days on who would back down first.”

Smith added that Amazon’s statement “could signal a degree of compromise from both companies, with a 2021 survey indicating a potential loss of £1.4bn for the e-commerce giant. However, given Amazon’s UK market share, it’s likely that Visa has agreed to negotiate on the fees it charges for credit card transactions – and may even have agreed to follow MasterCard’s position.”

Roger De'Ath, head of UK, TrueLayer, said that while the news brings temporary relief for Amazon customers, the issue has highlighted a fundamental need for new solutions that benefit every retailer, rather than acting as a short-term sticking plaster for the few: "For too long, cards have been retrofitted into online checkouts, creating an invisible web of hidden costs and unwieldy payment structures that affect the cost base of every single retailer. With new technologies available that can move money at a fraction of cost and time, the industry no longer needs to be held hostage to card networks for all transactions."

Siamac Rezaiezadeh, director of product marketing at GoCardless, also pointed to the bigger conversation: "Businesses are pushing back against the draconian terms and high fees that are levied just for the privilege of taking a payment. The uprising has well and truly begun, with AllSaints, Superdry, and Levi’s just some of the other brands also taking the fight to the card networks.”

Amazon does not rule out bringing back the ban in the future. Either way, it has promised customers they will receive “advance notice” of any changes, reports the Independent.



Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 17 January, 2022, 15:432 likes 2 likes

Viz top tip: merchants, avoid the (Visa and Mastercard) cross-border interchange fee increase by not processing your payments through Luxembourg as part of your tax strategy.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 18 January, 2022, 10:43Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Interchange is an odd name, as it's not actually cross-border.  It is charged on every transaction, even domestically.  

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 18 January, 2022, 11:14Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I expected Amazon to blink well before the deadline. I was wrong about the "well before". On a side note, this will be a big blow for OB A2A payments, who expected to slide in to consumers' wallets after the Visa ban took effect.