Amazon confirmed to City A.M. this morning that it will stop accepting payments made using Visa credit cards issued in the United Kingdom starting next year.
“As a result of Visa’s continued high cost of payments, we regret that Amazon.co.uk will no longer accept UK-issued Visa credit cards as of 19 January, 2022,” an Amazon spokesman said.
“The cost of accepting card payments continues to be an obstacle for businesses striving to provide the best prices for customers.”
“These costs should be going down over time with technological advancements, but instead they continue to stay high or even rise,” the spokesman explained Amazon’s decision.
The spokesman stressed that customers can continue to use all debit cards, including Visa debit cards, and other non-Visa credit cards to shop on Amazon’s site.
“With the rapidly changing payments landscape around the world, we will continue innovating on behalf of customers to add and promote faster, cheaper, and more inclusive payment options to our stores across the globe,” the spokesman concluded.
Email to customers
Some customers have started receiving notifications from the e-commerce giant, after completing a purchase:
We’re writing to notify you of an upcoming change to Amazon.co.uk.
Starting 19 January, 2022, we will unfortunately no longer accept Visa credit cards issued in the UK, 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.
Please update your default payment method now, or add one of these new, eligible payment methods if you do not have one.
We know this may be inconvenient, and we’re here to help you through this transition so you can continue enjoying Amazon’s low prices and wide selection. Please visit this help page for more information on payment methods, or go directly to your account.The email that Amazon sent to customers across the UK
Response from Visa
A Visa spokesperson said the payment provider is “very disappointed” that Amazon “is threatening to restrict consumer choice in the future. When consumer choice is limited, nobody wins.”
“We have a long-standing relationship with Amazon, and we continue to work toward a resolution, so our cardholders can use their preferred Visa credit cards at Amazon UK without Amazon-imposed restrictions come January 2022.”
He stressed that “UK shoppers can use their Visa debit and credit cards at Amazon UK today and throughout the holiday season.”
James Andrews, senior personal finance editor at comparison website Money.co.uk, told the BBC that the move “will come as a blow to the millions of Britons” who use Visa credit cards, including Barclaycard and HSBC customers.
“With American Express also rejected by many UK retailers, that means people looking for rewards on their spending or trying to split the cost of shopping with a 0% purchase card on Amazon will be effectively forced to choose a Mastercard,” he said.
He added that a rewards card that is offered by Amazon is “powered by Mastercard”.