Visa and Amazon Reach Agreement Fees

Amazon has reached a global agreement with Visa to settle a dispute over the credit card giant’s fees.

The deal means Amazon customers in the U.K. can continue using Visa credit cards, as previously announced by the two companies. The e-commerce giant will also drop a 0.5% surcharge on Visa credit card transactions in Singapore and Australia, which it introduced last year.

Last month, Amazon said it had dropped plans to stop accepting Visa credit cards in Britain, two days before the change was expected to take place. The companies said at the time that they would continue talks on a broader resolution to their spat.

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“We’ve recently reached a global agreement with Visa that allows all customers to continue using their Visa credit cards in our stores,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC via email Thursday. “Amazon remains committed to offering customers a payment experience that is convenient and offers choice.”

Amazon has been piling pressure on Visa to lower its fees, in a series of moves that signaled growing frustration from retailers over the costs associated with major card networks, as well as the tech giant’s market power and sway over its partners.

The likes of Visa, Mastercard and American Express now face intense competition from a flood of fintech challengers, from “buy now, pay later” services like Klarna to open banking, a technology that lets start-ups effectively bypass traditional payment methods such as cards.

In an emailed statement to CNBC on Thursday, Visa said its agreement with Amazon would also see the two collaborate on “new product and technology initiatives to ensure innovative payment experiences for our customers in the future.”

Both companies declined to comment further on the terms of their agreement when asked by CNBC.

So-called swipe fees, which are charged to merchants each time a customer uses their card, have long been a point of contention for businesses.

Roger De’Ath, U.K. country manager at fintech firm TrueLayer, said the Amazon-Visa spat highlighted the “fundamental need for new payment solutions.”

“For too long, cards have been retrofitted into online checkouts, creating an invisible web of hidden costs and unwieldy payment structures that affect the cost base of every single retailer,” De’Ath said via email.

Leona Zoey

Leona Zoey writes about the Law, Innovation and Technology.