Amazon stops accepting UK Visa credit cards, cites high fees
London — Amazon says it will stop accepting Visa credit cards issued in the United Kingdom because of a dispute over fees, marking growing tensions between the companies.
The online retail giant said in a message Wednesday to customers that they won't be able to use the payment company's U.K. credit cards starting Jan. 19, blaming "the high fees Visa charges for processing credit card transactions.”
Shoppers will still be able to use Visa debit cards and other credit cards including Mastercard and American Express, Amazon said. The notice suggests Visa credit cards issued in other countries will still be accepted.
Amazon said it would give shoppers 20 pounds ($27) off their next purchase the first time they set up a debit or non-Visa credit card as their default card.
Visa said it was “very disappointed that Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice in the future."
The payment company said in a statement that it has “a long-standing relationship with Amazon and we continue to work toward a resolution."
Amazon said in a press statement that “the cost of accepting card payments continues to be an obstacle."
“These costs should be going down over time with technological advancements, but instead they continue to stay high or even rise," it said, without providing figures.
Fees have been a growing source of tension between Amazon and Visa. Earlier this year, Amazon started charging customers in Australia and Singapore who use Visa credit cards a 0.5% surcharge.
In any credit card transaction, there are a number of fees involved, such as an “interchange fee" that the shopper's bank pays to the retailer's bank and other costs like service and technology charges. It's not clear which fee is the focus of the U.K. dispute.