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A change affecting millions of Amazon customers will come into force next year after the online retailer plans to refuse payment from Visa credit cards in the UK.
The retail giant sent an email to customers informing them that they would no longer accept Visa because of “high fees” charged for processing payments.
Amazon says the ban will come into force on January 19.
Customers will still be able to use Visa debit, Mastercard, American Express and others on the online marketplace but millions will still likely be affected.
According to data from research firm Mintel, a whopping 9 in 10 UK shoppers use Amazon with around 40% using its prime subscription service.
Amazon has refused to comment on how many of these customers the changes will affect, The Telegraph reports.
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It’s worth checking what card you have attached to your Amazon account because Barclaycard, HSBC and Vanquis credit cards also currently use Visa’s payment system and will likely be affected.
Amazon’s own credit card is run on Mastercard’s payment system.
The decision comes as Visa begins charging high rates in the UK due to Brexit, with the EU enforced cap on fees charged by card issuers being scrapped.
A spokesman for Amazon said: “The cost of accepting card payments is 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 Amazon will no longer accept UK-issued Visa credit cards.”
This may cause an even bigger problem for those who only have one card or bank account, making it difficult for particular shoppers to continue to use the site.
Sarah Coles, of broker Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “This is a massive hassle. If you don’t have an alternative credit card, and you can’t use your debit card, you’ll need to rethink your credit provider or find somewhere else to shop.”
James Andrews, an expert at money.co.uk, said: “Hopefully, Visa and Amazon work out their differences. In the meantime it would be wise to check your cards now – and think about switching to a Mastercard.
“The good news is that some of the best offers on the market at the moment come from Mastercard. Unsurprisingly, Amazon’s own rewards card is powered by Mastercard, as well as table topping offers from Sainsbury’s, Tesco and M&S.”
A Visa responded to the news with a spokesman saying the payment platform is “very disappointed” and that the decision would “restrict consumer choice”.
The spokesman added: “When consumer choice is limited, nobody wins. We have a long-standing relationship with Amazon, and we continue to work toward a resolution.”
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