Amazon to stop accepting UK-issued Visa credit cards

Amazon has issued a notice to its customers that it will stop accepting Visa credit cards issued in the UK from 19th January 2022, citing the high fees charged for transactions.

Amazon customers can still use Visa debit cards, Mastercard, American Express credit cards, and Eurocard.

Customers are disgruntled by this announcement, with many taking to Twitter to blame the move on Brexit.

Although not directly mentioned by Amazon, the UK’s exit from the European Union meant that the existing EU-imposed caps on transaction fees no longer apply, which meant Visa was able to raise its fees.

Earlier this year, The Financial Times reported that Mastercard raised its fees from 0.3% to 1.5% for consumers using a UK credit card to buy something online from Europe. Similarly, it increased its debit card fees from 0.2% to 1.15%. Visa subsequently also raised its fees from 0.3% to 1.5% from October.

The Financial Times warned that this post-Brexit “profiteering” revealed the true power of the credit card duopoly (Mastercard and Visa) and was an unexpected and unwelcome transfer of power to financial institutions, that many who voted in favour of Brexit, likely did not expect.

Indeed, Amazon’s customers on Twitter are angered that they are no longer protected by the EU caps. One concerned Twitter user said, “Hey, another #brexit shaft. Amazon just announced from 19th Jan 2022 they won’t accept Visa Credit card payments because we’re not in the EU. How many more will follow suit?”

What’s more, is that some are concerned that the move from Amazon is a reminder of its confidence in its market position. Sarah O’Connor, a Financial Times columnist, said, “This Amazon banning Visa credit cards story feels like another reminder of its huge and growing market power, and how readily it can flex it.”

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