Amazon, Visa strike global truce on credit card charges

Payment card processing fees will fall away in some regions

Amazon and Visa appear to have resolved their differences and reached an agreement that will see Amazon continue to accept online payments from customers with Visa credit cards around the world, after previously threatening to stop.

The dispute arose last year, with Amazon threatening to block payments from Visa credit cards issued in the United Kingdom, in response to what the online bazaar claimed were high fees that Visa charged for processing transactions.

The first that many customers became of this situation were cryptic messages last November alerting them to the changes, plus a statement on Amazon's UK website informing customers that it would no longer accept Visa credit cards issued in the UK for transactions made after 19 January, 2022.

Now it appears that a deal has been done, and Amazon customers in the UK can continue to pay using their Visa credit cards, while the 0.5 per cent surcharge levied on Visa credit card transactions for customers of Amazon's Australian and Singaporean sites will also be lifted.

"We've recently reached a global agreement with Visa that allows all customers to continue using their Visa credit cards in our stores," Amazon said in a statement, adding: "Amazon remains committed to offering customers a payment experience that is convenient and offers choice."

Neither Amazon nor Visa is giving much away about just what the terms of the deal entail, but Visa in its statement hints at some intriguing joint future developments.

"Visa is pleased to have reached a broad, global agreement with Amazon," a company spokesperson told The Register. "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."

We asked what these product and technology initiatives might comprise, but were told that no further details will be forthcoming until they are formally announced.

The debacle in the UK appears to have been caused by Visa starting to charge a 1.5 per cent surcharge on credit card payment transactions made online between the UK and European Union, according to the Financial Times. Transaction fees are capped within the EU, but these rules no longer apply in the UK since Brexit.

While Amazon pushes a Platinum Mastercard in some regions, in the US and Europe it offers Amazon Rewards and Prime Rewards cards that are both Visa-branded. ®

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