Online retail giant Amazon have announced that from 19th January 2022, they will no longer accept payments made using UK-issued Visa credit cards.
Other credit cards such as those from Mastercard or American Express, or Visa credit cards that were issued outside the UK, and Visa debit cards, will still be fine to use as of this date.
Why have Amazon made this decision?
Amazon’s decision is reportedly down to ‘price rises’ from Visa over a number of years, which are fees that merchants such as Amazon usually pay to payment networks like Visa for using their platform to take payments from customers.
How will this change affect you?
This change only affects you if you want to use your UK-issued Visa credit card to shop on Amazon. Visa debit cards and Visa credit cards issued outside the UK aren’t impacted by this change. You will still be able to use your UK Visa credit card anywhere else you shop, unless they’ve told you they also don’t accept payments via this method.
As the change is only coming into effect on January 19th 2022, for the time being, you can keep using your usual card when shopping on Amazon. However, if your usual card is a UK Visa credit card, then you’ll need to remember to update the payment method in your Amazon account. This means you’ll need to have an alternative payment method, such as a credit card that’s powered by the likes of Mastercard or American Express, or a debit card, that you can add to your Amazon account and use to pay for your purchases.
If you already use a type of card that isn’t a UK-issued Visa credit card when you shop on Amazon, then this change won’t affect you.
If you’re not sure whether the cards you have are Visa, Mastercard or something else, it’s easy to find out. Simply grab your card and check the top right corner. Who the card is powered by and whether it’s a credit or debit card should be shown there. You’ll usually know if your card was issued in the UK or not based on which card provider you use. If you’re not sure whether your card was issued in the UK, you can check this with your card provider.
Why you need the likes of Visa or Mastercard to buy things
When you use your credit or debit card to make purchases, a payment network is usually part of the transaction. Visa and Mastercard are both payment networks. In fact, according to Which?, they’re the biggest two in the world!
Payment networks don’t usually issue cards. Instead, they have partnerships with banks and credit card companies. This is why you’ll usually see both your card provider’s name and the name and logo of the payment network on your card. The payment network’s role is simply to process any payments you make using the card you’re given, rather than decide whether you should be given a card or not. The exception to this is American Express, who are both a payment network and a card issuer. Unlike Visa and Mastercard, they can decide whether you can get a card from them.
When you use your card, the payment network will:
- check with your card provider that the transaction can be approved, or if it should be declined
- let the retailer you’re shopping with know that your payment can (or can’t) be made
- process your payment between your card provider and the retailer
Interested in learning more about how credit cards work? Take a look at these articles from the Ocean blog to find out more about what a credit card number is, or whether you can transfer money from your credit card to your account.
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