Amazon ends ban on UK-issued Visa credit cards

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Amazon said it will reverse its plan to stop accepting UK-issued Visa credit cards later this month after a row over high payment fees. The Seattle-based company sent an email on Monday to UK customers to say that it would not go ahead with the move, which was scheduled to come into effect on Wednesday.

"The expected change regarding the use of Visa credit cards on will no longer take place on January 19," the company said. "We are working closely with Visa on a potential solution that will enable customers to continue using their Visa credit cards on Amazon."

Amazon had previously indicated that the high fees charged by Visa in the UK were an "obstacle" to its business. Costs had continued to rise despite technology advancements elsewhere in the online payment industry, the company said.

Along with Mastercard, the payments company sets the rates that merchants pay in swipe fees. While banks that issue cards reap the bulk of that fee, Visa has long faced criticism from merchants over rising costs.

The proposed ban by Amazon, first revealed in November, caused Visa's shares to drop and led executives at the payments company to accuse Amazon of punishing consumers. Visa last year said it was "very disappointed" with the threat to stop accepting its cards, claiming that the move would restrict consumer choice.


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