Towards the end of 2021, Amazon announced that as of January 19th, 2022, they would no longer be accepting UK Visa card payments as an Ecommerce payment method.
Had this decision been reached, it would have been the result of an ongoing dispute between the two companies, with the root of the problem being the high fees charged by Visa for credit card transactions.
Two days before this change was due to take place, Amazon released the following statement:
‘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.’
If you’re wondering how this nearly came about, why it’s important, and how to work around such a change then read on: here’s everything you need to know about the dispute.
How did this come about?
With Amazon set to lose a potential £1.3 billion, you’d imagine there’d have to be good reason for them to consider such a big decision.
One of the main reasons Visa’s fee hike has become a problem is due to Brexit, which has allowed online credit card fees to rise from 0.3% to 1.5% for transactions between the UK and the EU.
Due to standing to lose so much, there was some speculation as to whether Amazon announced this early to try and influence ongoing discussions between the corporations.
As the date drew closer, however, it was looking increasingly unlikely that a deal would be struck, meaning that those who use a Visa credit card were wondering how they would pay for their goods online.
Why is this important?
Millions of people in the UK use a Visa credit card as an Ecommerce payment method, whether it’s simply to buy products, or to pay for an Amazon Prime membership.
By deciding not to accept Visa credit card payments, Amazon risked losing some of these people as customers, especially those who use credit cards for a specific reason, such as the extra protection they offer, or even as a way to manage their credit rating.
There were further worries that, if Amazon managed to pull off such a financially risky move, it was possible that other big retailers would follow suit.
This would be a problem for some credit card companies, such as Barclaycard, who cards only use the Visa network.
Other Ways to Pay
Following the announcement that a deal was on the horizon, Amazon released the following statement:
‘Should we make any changes related to Visa credit cards, we will give you advance notice, until then, you can continue to use Visa credit cards, debit cards, Mastercard, American Express, and Eurocard as you do today.’
Whilst no changes are set to be made, the possibility of this happening means it’s important to know how you could pay should something like this occur in the future.
First of all, it’s important to remember that despite a large number of people using a Visa credit card to pay for goods and subscriptions on Amazon, this method of payment is, after all, only one out of many, and Amazon will still continue to accept all debit cards (including Visa), as well as non-Visa credit cards.
This means that you could simply swap over and pay using your debit card, minimising the impact of Amazon’s decision on your purchasing.
If credit card use is essential to your interactions with Amazon, then you could apply for a Mastercard credit card from an alternative provider, allowing you to continue reaping the benefits of short-term credit card use.
Should I be Worried?
There’s no doubt that, had this gone ahead, Amazon’s decision would have had a big impact on lots of aspects of Ecommerce management, as well as having a widespread effect on the consumer landscape.
Some people think that this may have had a positive impact on pragmatic approaches to aspects of trade between the UK and the EU, especially those that have only recently become a problem.
On the other hand, there’s no doubt that many people would have been adversely affected, especially those who are dependent on credit card use and are unable to find an alternative to their current provider.