After confirming it will cease taking Visa credit cards in the United Kingdom as a dispute over payments escalated, Amazon.com Inc is considering eliminating Visa as a partner on its U.S. co-branded credit card.
According to a representative for the e-commerce giant, it is in talks with multiple payment networks, including Mastercard Inc, American Express Co, and Visa, as part of its “regular process” for revising its co-branded credit card deal.
Visa declined to comment on the co-branded card. Mastercard and American Express did not respond to requests for comment.
Visa’s stock had previously finished 4.7 percent lower after Amazon announced that it would discontinue accepting Visa credit card payments in the UK on January 19, 2022. It added in a statement that such fees should “go down over time with technical developments,” but that they “remain high or even climb.”
As the relationship between the two corporations worsened, Amazon imposed taxes on customers using Visa credit cards in Singapore and Australia, alleging hefty fees.
Since Britain’s exit from the European Union, an EU-mandated cap on card issuer fees no longer exists in the UK, allowing providers to raise costs at will.
Visa began charging 1.5 percent of the transaction amount for credit card purchases made online or over the phone between the UK and EU last month, and 1.15 percent for debit card transactions, respectively, up from 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent.
According to researchers, the average credit card processing fees throughout the business range from 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent of each transaction.
Historically, retailers had accepted processing charges by major credit card firms as the cost of access to their huge network of card users, analysts said, but that could be changing.
The move marks an “important turning point in the payments industry,” said Laura Hoy, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, adding Amazon may hope to drive more customers to its own payments system.
“Ultimately, we think Amazon has the edge in this game of chicken – whether customers adopt its own payment system or Visa gives in and lowers its fees, either is a win for the retail giant,” Hoy said.
In the past, other big retailers have settled fee disputes with Visa after announcing they were going to quit taking Visa credit cards in narrow segments of their businesses.
Walmart Inc`s unit in Canada, for example, said in 2016 it would stop accepting Visa credit cards after being unable to reach an agreement on fees. Seven months later the companies said they had settled the matter after about 20 stores stopped taking Visa cards.
Amazon customers can still use Visa debit cards, Mastercard and Amex credit cards, and Eurocard, in the UK, Amazon said in a note to customers.
Visa said in a statement it was “disappointed that Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice.”
“We continue to work toward a resolution, so our cardholders can use their preferred Visa credit cards at Amazon UK without Amazon-imposed restrictions come January 2022,” Visa added.
Shares of rival Mastercard dropped 2.8% on Wednesday. Amazon shares rose 0.2%. American Express shares closed 0.7% lower.
The British Retail Consortium said other retailers in the United Kingdom faced higher charges for cross-border payments, following Britain’s departure from the European Union.