Amazon.com Inc. has made a last-minute reversal to its plan to ban the use of Visa Inc.’s credit cards issued in the U.K. The e-commerce firm emailed U.K. customers on Monday to say that the ban -- set for Wednesday -- will no longer take place. Amazon had previously said it was taking this step because of the rising cost of accepting credit card payments.
Card fees have long been a flash-point between merchants, banks and payment networks such as Mastercard and Visa, the world’s largest.
Along with Mastercard Inc., the payments firm 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 shares to drop and led executives at the payments company to accuse Amazon of punishing consumers.
Although the ban has been postponed, it is unlikely to be totally resolved. Amazon said in an email to customers on Monday that it was “working closely with Visa on a potential solution.”
A spokesperson for Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Amazon customers can continue to use Visa cards on Amazon.co.uk after January 19 while we work closely together to reach an agreement,” a Visa spokesman said.
Visa shares were slightly down in pre-market trading in New York Monday, while Amazon shares were down 1.1%.
Copyright © HT Media Limited
All rights reserved.