Amazon has announced that from January, UK customers will no longer be able to pay with Visa credit cards.

The ecommerce giant confirmed that the decision comes following the ‘high fees Visa charges for processing credit card transactions’, in the UK market. 

An Amazon spokesperson commented: “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.

“As a result of Visa’s continued high cost of payments, we regret that will no longer accept UK-issued Visa credit cards as of 19 January, 2022.”

Commentators have underlined that the situation may well have been elevated by the UK’s departure from the European Union, with the fees for the region moving from 0.3% to around 1.5%. 

The decision has led to speculation over whether other commerce firms and online operators could follow the lead of Amazon, with the UKs interchange fees at a higher rate than other EU nations. 

Furthermore, the decision also intensifies long standing arguments between merchants over transaction fees, as the threat of further potential disruptions looms. 

Karl MacGregor, co-Founder and CEO Vyne’s, a specialist account-to-account payments platform commented on the implications of the decision: “Amazon’s decision to no longer accept Visa credit cards in the UK is further evidence – if any was needed – that existing payments are broken and stacked against the merchants that rely on them.  

“What makes this news particularly striking is that this is one of the biggest brands in the world recognising that merchants on its platform truly are at the mercy of payment giants. These businesses already fork out thousands of pounds per annum only to be greeted with mid-contract price hikes, which are more often than not imparted on the consumer.

“Fuelled by post-Brexit price hikes this will be the first of many big business clashes with a payments giant. But online retailers should be reminded that there are other options out there and accelerate their efforts to offer new methods, such as account-to-account payments, that bypass the traditional card schemes altogether, saving money and time for both the merchant and consumer.”