Amazon Backs Off Threat to Ban U.K.-Issued Visa Credit Cards

Amazon Backs Off Threat to Ban U.K.-Issued Visa Credit Cards


Amazon in November told customers it would stop accepting Visa credit cards issued in the U.K. starting Jan. 19.



Photo:

Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News

Amazon.com Inc.


AMZN 0.57%

said customers can continue to make purchases with

Visa Inc.


V -0.15%

U.K. credit cards, stepping back from a threat to block such transactions because of the card network’s high fees.

Amazon


AMZN 0.57%

in November told customers it would stop accepting Visa credit cards issued in the U.K. starting Jan. 19. On Monday, the online retailer said it would allow customers to keep using their cards past that date while it negotiates an agreement with Visa.

Online retailers such as Amazon are more reliant on credit cards and other digital payments and are especially sensitive to interchange fees. Card networks typically impose higher fees on online purchases because they are deemed more vulnerable to fraud.

Card networks such as Visa typically impose higher fees on online purchases because they are deemed more vulnerable to fraud.



Photo:

philippe wojazer/Reuters

When a shopper pays with a credit card, the merchant pays a fee to the bank that issued it. The fees, which can often run 2% or more, are set by card networks including Visa and

Mastercard Inc.

Amazon has said higher interchange fees on credit-card transactions mean higher prices for shoppers. The fees have stayed high or risen, Amazon said in November, despite technological advances that should have sent them lower.

At the time, Visa said it was “disappointed that Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice.”

Retailers and card networks have long clashed over interchange fees. Amazon, one of the world’s largest retailers, has imposed a surcharge on Visa credit-card purchases in Singapore and Australia. Amazon and other big retailers have sued Visa, Mastercard and card-issuing banks, claiming that they collude to avoid competing over interchange fees.

Write to Julie Steinberg at [email protected]

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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