If you live in the United Kingdom and shop a lot on Amazon, there might be some changes coming your way. From January 19th, you won’t be able to use a Visa credit card to make purchases on the site. This won’t affect Visa debit cardholders, nor will it affect Mastercard holders who use either a debit card or a credit card.
The report from the BBC outlines the reason for the change, and it’s that Amazon is unhappy with the fees Visa charges it. A spokesperson told the BBC that the dispute was particularly surrounding “pretty egregious” price rises from Visa over several years without increasing the value provided by the service. Visa declined to comment to the BBC exactly how much it charges, but that the average it takes is less than 0.1% of the value of a purchase.
Amazon also told the BBC that “The cost of accepting card payments continues to be an obstacle for businesses striving to provide the best prices for customers.” While costs would be expected to decrease because of the advancement of technology, “instead they continue to stay high or even rise”. Visa responded in a statement saying that it was “very disappointed that Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice in the future. When consumer choice is limited, nobody wins.”
Both Amazon and Visa have said that the change in fees has had nothing to do with Brexit, though Visa and Mastercard have both raised their cross-border fees between businesses in the U.K. and in the EU.
If you use a Visa credit card, you’ll at least be able to still make your Christmas shopping purchases before support is dropped. The January 19th deadline also gives some time for both companies to come to a compromise, but given that the dispute is entering the public eye, it might be a while before one is reached. Visa credit cards in the U.K. are typically issued by Barclays and HSBC.