Amazon and Visa

Let the fight begin

Dear Steve Woodmore,

We’re writing to notify you of an upcoming change to #Amazon.co.uk.

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. You can still use debit cards (including Visa debit cards) and non-Visa credit cards like Mastercard, Amex, and Eurocard to make purchases. Please update your default payment method now, or add one of these new, eligible payment methods if you do not have one.

You can update your Prime membership here, and if you have any subscriptions on Amazon.co.uk, you can update them on the ''manage your subscription'' page here.

We know this may be inconvenient, and we’re here to help you through this transition so you can continue enjoying Amazon’s low prices and wide selection. Please visit this help page for more information on payment methods, or go directly to your account.

When I first got this email I thought it might have been a scam or phishing attempt so I didn’t click any links and decided to check it out, however after a quick Google I could see that both the P.A. and Reuters were running this as well as the major news sites.

Visa have responded.

A Visa spokesperson responded: "UK shoppers can use their Visa debit and credit cards at Amazon UK today and throughout the holiday season.

"We are very disappointed that Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice in the future.

"When consumer choice is limited, nobody wins. We have a long-standing relationship with Amazon, and we continue to work toward a resolution, so our cardholders can use their preferred Visa credit cards at Amazon UK without Amazon-imposed restrictions come January 2022."

Being the cynic that I am I think this is nothing more than a ploy by Amazon to negotiate lower fees from Visa, that said it’s an unusual way of doing it, I would liken this to a nuclear blast from Amazon rather than well placed snipers bullets.

Usually a company would preface this type of wear by making press releases and generating media stories about high fees and a period of counter offer and negotiation would begin, this would be carried out in public in the media.

This time it appears Amazon have decided to go straight for the jugular and involve the end user in the battle directly, it’s a bold tactic and one that could actually backfire for Amazon.

Why could it backfire? well most of my “plastic” is either Visa debit or Mastercard however I do have 1 Visa credit card and among my credit cards this one has the lowest APR and also the longest interest free purchase length of 120 days (I.E. When I make a purchase as long as I pay for it in full within 120 day I don’t pay any interest) This card is actually my preferred card for making purchases on Amazon with and if they stop me from using it then I think I will just have to go and make those purchases elsewhere instead.

We may not have seen what has gone on before behind closed doors between Visa and Amazon but today we have seen that Amazon really is a predatory street fighter and is quite happy to get “down and dirty” in a fight.

Who will win? IMHO expect an announcement soon from Visa that they will be cutting their rates.

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