AMAZON has told customers in the UK that it will stop accepting Visa credit cards early next year because of high transaction fees.
The retail giant will continue to accept Visa debit cards, but credit cards will not be recognised after January 19. Visa said it was “very disappointed” at the decision, which was “threatening to restrict consumer choice”.
Online searches for Visa’s arch-rival Mastercard exploded by 1,300 percent after the announcement, while searches for “cancel Visa” skyrocketed by 700 percent.
“Amazon is the ultimate player in the online retail industry,” said a spokesperson for by Casinosites.org, which carried out the Google-results search. “Losing business with a digital retail giant could be very damaging to Visa.”
Amazon said that the cost of accepting card payments was “an obstacle for businesses striving to provide the best prices for customers” — and added that transaction costs should have fallen, but “continue to stay high, or even rise”.
“We will unfortunately no longer accept Visa credit cards issued in the UK,” Amazon said in a statement, “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.”
Amazon prompted customers to take up Prime membership to update payment methods. A Visa spokesperson said that when consumer choice was limited, “nobody wins”.