Amazon strikes global deal to accept Visa credit cards

Amazon will accept Visa credit cards across all of its sites after the two businesses reached a global agreement.

The online retail giant had last year threatened to stop the use of Visa credit cards in the UK due to the fees Visa charged to process payments.

Amazon customers in Singapore and Australia also had to pay a surcharge if they used a Visa credit card to purchase goods.

However, Amazon and Visa said they have now struck a deal.

The Visa surcharge on Amazon’s Singapore and Australia websites will be removed from Thursday, 17 February.

Amazon had already postponed the ban on using Visa credit cards in the UK while negotiations continued.

Amazon said: “We’ve recently reached a global agreement with Visa that allows all customers to continue using their Visa credit cards in our stores,”

Visa said it was “pleased”, adding: “This agreement includes the acceptance of Visa at all Amazon stores and sites today, as well as a joint commitment to collaboration on new product and technology initiatives to ensure innovative payment experiences for our customers in the future.”

Last year, when it was considering the ban on accepting Visa credit cards in the UK, Amazon said that the cost of processing payments was “an obstacle” to providing the best prices for customers.

A European Union (EU) cap on fees charged by card issuers was no longer in place in the UK following Brexit.

Last October, Visa began to charge 1.5% of the value of a transaction for credit card payments made online between the UK and the EU. It had previously charged 0.3%. Mastercard also increased its fees.

The mooted UK ban by Amazon did not affect Visa debit cards. Though Visa, and Mastercard, also increased the cost of processing debit card payments from 0.2% to 1.15%, according to the UK Treasury Committee.

At the time, Visa accused Amazon of restricting customer choice. It said: “When consumer choice is limited, nobody wins.”

Last year, the Payment Systems Regulator conducted a review into card fees which showed that they had “increased significantly in recent months”. It is currently investigating whether any action is required on the issue.(BBC)