The chief executive of Visa has hit back at Amazon’s dramatic decision to block UK Visa credit cards, according to reports.
In an interview with the Financial Times Al Kelly called out the e-commerce giant’s claims that the ban was prompted by Visa’s high cost of payments.
“I find it quite odd that they’re claiming they did this because of the high cost of acceptance of these in the UK. It’s just absolutely inaccurate,” he said.
On Wednesday Amazon announced that it will stop accepting payments made using UK Visa credit cards from early next year. The retailer also said it was considering letting go of the payments giant as its partner for a co-branded US card.
The move sent shockwaves through Britain’s consumer and retail landscape.
Kelly called the stand off between the two companies “a challenging negotiation”, but said he still expected it to be resolved.
“What’s different here,” he explained, “is that Amazon unfortunately decided to take the negotiation challenges that we’re having public and oddly has chosen to threaten to punish consumers.”
Earlier this week an Amazon spokesperson said the cost of accepting card payments was an ongoing “obstacle for businesses” and that “these costs should be going down over time with technological advancements, but instead they continue to stay high or even rise.”
In the UK, more than half of all payments are card based, with Visa dominating 82 per cent of the market, according to PPRO research.
Visa was not the only payments processor to raise its interchange rates to payments between the UK and the EU post-Brexit this year though. MasterCard also announced price hikes. For digital payments fees went up to 1.15 per cent, from 0.2 per cent, for debit transactions and 1.5 per cent for credit card transactions, from 0.3 per cent, according to Bambora, a payments firm.