Amazon reverses decision to ban customers from using Visa credit cards

·4 min read

Amazon has reversed a decision to ban customers from using UK Visa credit cards on its website.

The online retailer had been expecting to introduce the changes from this Wednesday, having warned customers that the card company’s fees were too high.

But Amazon said on Monday: “The expected change regarding the use of Visa credit cards on Amazon.co.uk will no longer take place on January 19.

“We are working closely with Visa on a potential solution that will enable customers to continue using their Visa credit cards on Amazon.co.uk.”

A Visa spokesman said: “Amazon customers can continue to use Visa cards on Amazon.co.uk after January 19 while we work closely together to reach an agreement.”

Amazon did not rule out a future ban.

The website previously said it had made the decision due to “the high fees Visa charges for processing credit card transactions”.

Amazon customers reported on Twitter that they had started to receive emails from the retailer, which confirmed they could continue using their cards and that advance notice would be given if any changes relating to Visa cards were made.

One Twitter user wrote: “I wasn’t going to get a new credit card but use it as another incentive not to use them.”

Another wrote: “Ended up getting an Amex with plan to use that instead on Amazon, but it’s now given me a card that has much better cashback (didn’t realise cashback on old Visa had ended) so worked out for me in the end.”

Another one said: “I’m very pleased that they’ve changed their minds on this.”

And someone else wrote on Twitter: “Made no attempt to change cards as I always thought they would sort it out – which they appear to have done.”

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) previously said it had been in contact with Amazon and the big card schemes.

And the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) claimed previously that scheme fees charged by card providers had soared in recent years.

FSB national vice chairman Martin McTague said on Monday: “Big online platforms like Amazon have the clout to renegotiate when they feel the card fees they’re being charged are unreasonable.

“Small businesses, especially in this climate, typically do not have the time or resource to challenge their terminal provider, or shop around for a new one.”

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said:  “Unfortunately, this kind of 11th-hour change is no good to people who had been forced to apply for a new Mastercard credit card. If you’ve already applied, it will already show on your credit record.

“It’s hardly fair that consumers should pay the price for two massive corporations facing off against one another.”

Roger De’Ath, head of ecommerce at fintech firm TrueLayer, said: “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.

“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.”

Jenny Ross, Which? Money editor, said: “Amazon reversing its decision to ban Visa credit cards for now will be good news for many customers, but we would encourage Amazon and Visa to urgently find a long-term resolution to prevent any unnecessary inconvenience or restriction on consumer choice in future.

“There have been long-standing concerns about credit card fees that affect both consumers and businesses, so the regulator should urgently take forward its proposed work examining card fees.”

Myron Jobson, personal finance campaigner at interactive investor, said: “There may be more twists and turns to come in the saga, but for now, Visa credit card users can continue to flash their plastic on Amazon.”

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