back to article Amazon, Visa strike global truce on credit card charges

Amazon and Visa appear to have resolved their differences and reached an agreement that will see Amazon continue to accept online payments from customers with Visa credit cards around the world, after previously threatening to stop. The dispute arose last year, with Amazon threatening to block payments from Visa credit cards …

  1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Innovative payment experiences

    I don't want anything innovative. I just want it them to ensure it is quick and secure.

    Unless "innovative" in this context is about how to extract more form the customer under the radar.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      Re: Innovative payment experiences

      One of my accounts now handles the CV2 process with an alert on the app which allows me to approve or deny the charge from there.

      That's pretty innovative* and vastly preferable to the ways other firms handle it (as long as there's a fallback to enable purchasing a new phone when this one, and thus the app, is inoperable)

      *innovative in the sense that I was asking for it over 10 years ago as a viable second factor, which seems to be quite a quick turnaround in banking terms.

      1. rcxb1

        Re: Innovative payment experiences

        > an alert on the app which allows me to approve or deny the charge from there. That's pretty innovative*

        It might work well for you, but no, it's anything but innovative.

        The traditional method is for banks to figure out patterns to your purchase activities, and stop any that are sufficiently shady. Simplifying that process down to just ASKING YOU if you did it each time is rather giving up on innovating, and taking the easy way out when their systems can't actually get the job done...

        More innovative methods would be that retailers only get cryptographically generated tokens your smart credit card outputs, which can include restrictions you've dialed-in as well...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Innovative payment experiences

          "The traditional method is for banks to figure out patterns to your purchase activities, and stop any that are sufficiently shady. "

          You mean like HSBC blocking the card every time I tried to buy dial-up access from a hotel phone line because it was in a not-spot and I needed to review another client's logs? Every week for a four week contract. Even after they'd been told.

          Yup, works really well, right up to the time when you need to make a change to your spending requirements.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Innovative payment experiences

      What do you mean, Amazon charging the UK customer's Visa card from Luxembourg is very innovative, however the lack of a cap on commissions when a merchant inside the EEA charged a customer outside the EEA stifled that innovation.

  2. badflorist

    Sounds like Visa is becoming the merchant and Amazon is becoming the vendor. I do wonder how long it will be until the major CC companies are more frequently challenged in this way as they've been running a small gambit for about 60 years (or really since inception). Strange things will happen when Visa/MC/etc. are all on XYZ's cloud service. Payment services are by no means new to the internet, but they are a frontier that has yet to be vigorously challenged.

    1. Tim 11

      I must admit part of me was expecting this climb-down but part of me was expecting amazon to announce their online own payment system.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Meh

        I'm sure I've seen Amazon payment on other sites already.

        Just very, very few. (A quick check at this point reveals that Amazon Pay does indeed exist).

        Put it this way. PayPal is to Faceberk as Amazon Pay is to Google+.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Megaphone

    1.5% ?!

    Hey Apple, ya hear that ?

    1. Smeagolberg

      Re: 1.5% ?!

      Where's your compassion> Think of Cook-face's $100,000,000 pay packet. Poor guy's gotta pay for his food, even if 1,000,000s of other poor people can't. Cos he's worth it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still Avoiding Them

    I'm still just happy I've found ways to cut Amazon out of my life entirely :-)

    I've successfully gone an entire year now without making a single purchase on Amazon.

    My most expensive habbit is tech bits (it's my worst addiction.. I even pre-ordered a steam deck last year.. I can't help myself..). But I've found Scan to be a suitable replacement, failing that CCL sometimes gets my money.

    I actually found the service from them to be better than Amazon most notably, HDDs actually have proper padding and protection during transit imagine that! No DOA drives since leaving Amazon.

    As for my other bad habbit, Music, HMV has come out on top.. I was amazed to find they still offer a decent selection of metal albums.

    I'll use other retailers where necessary also. But I'm just happy I haven't needed to use Amazon at all for a year :-D

    Either way, kinda proud of myself over here, I used to spend way too much with them.... but no more.

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: Still Avoiding Them

      I switched 3 years or more back. eBay gets the small bits and there are some good online book sellers, one of which I found was only in the next town to me so I can always go over and accost them directly if it turns out not to be of the expected quality. :-)

      Funnily enough I've just bought two 10TB drives for a NAS and the cheapest option - Amazon included - was to buy Seagate external drives from Argos and schuck them. Anyone need a 12V, 1.75A wall-wart?

      1. Victor Ludorum

        Re: Still Avoiding Them

        I try and use hive.co.uk for book orders, you can choose a local independent book store to support.

    2. Sub 20 Pilot

      Re: Still Avoiding Them

      To date I have managed to avoid giving amazon a single penny and will keep doing so. When they pay a reasonable rate of tax in the UK I might reconsider.

      I know people who whine about their tax practices and use them all the time, saying that they really had to buy that top or new gadget and it was not available anywhere else or may have cost an extra 3p.

      Nothing is that crucial that you have to go to them.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Still Avoiding Them

        Not defending Amazon, but if you want them to pay more tax, start with Downing Street. They're only paying (or not paying) what they're allowed to get away with. It's not morally acceptable, but it's legally acceptable. That's where the problem lies, and where any fix needs to happen.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Still Avoiding Them

          Not much point talking to Downing Street. They're currently preoccupied with flapping their mouth holes at Russia while working out how to best avoid Putin's oligarch friends having to remove their money from London.

        2. Def Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Still Avoiding Them

          Agreed.

          I haven't bought anything from No. 10 in years.

          1. Rob Daglish Bronze badge

            Re: Still Avoiding Them

            I'm hoping for a good deal on a secondhand wine fridge fairly soon, though.

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: Still Avoiding Them

              (One previous user. See within.)

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Still Avoiding Them

                "See within."

                Is he hiding from the police?

                1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

                  Re: Still Avoiding Them

                  Journalists. Well, "Good Morning Britain".

                  https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/boris-johnson-hides-in-a-fridge

        3. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: Still Avoiding Them

          It's perfectly morally acceptable as far as I'm concerned. No one is forcing you to spend money there. They are a business offering goods and services under the laws of the countries they work within and pay the taxes required. What is immoral about that?

          1. MrBanana Silver badge

            Re: Still Avoiding Them

            You were going great until you got to "pay the taxes required" - I think we all know that isn't true.

    3. Smeagolberg

      Re: Still Avoiding Them

      Same here. I now support local and small UK businesses and web sellers in preference to Amazon whenever I can and am happy to pay a premium. Like you, I still buy the occasional tech thing from them.

      For me it was a combination of bad treatment of employees to maximise profits, money-shuffling, tax avoiding tricks available only to big multinationals not to single-country, home-grown companies, and the depletion of local communities' businesses with resulting quality-of-life effects (independent shops closing, etc).

      It's interesting how often, these days, Amazon prices aren't good, now that people have been lulled into a assuming them to be the best. I had a review deleted when I pointed out that several supermarket chains supplied the same goods (6 jars of some food product) at between 1/3 and 1/2 less than the Amazon price. Apparently my review "wasn't helpful".

      1. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: Still Avoiding Them

        "...happy to pay a premium." This is very much NOT true for everyone.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Still Avoiding Them

          If only people realised the premium frequently pays for itself. You may pay a couple of % more for something locally but if you dont that company goes bust and then (in the UK) your council tax had to rise the following year to cover that lost from the company - the charity shop replacement will not be paying as much! There's a lot more to a simple financial transaction than most people realise.

    4. Tim 11

      Re: Still Avoiding Them

      OK I'l bite - HDDs ?? WTF !?!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Still Avoiding Them

        Like most people, I have around ~64TB of storage in my desktop computer. I'd love for all that to be on SSDs, but for now sadly it'd simply cost too much and I'm running out of space as it is.

        As such, still using old fashioned spinning rust.

        1. Def Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Still Avoiding Them

          That's a whole lotta porn.

          Also, you're very much not like most people.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Still Avoiding Them

            It sure is :-D.

        2. Steven Burn

          Re: Still Avoiding Them

          64TB === most people?

          Wtf? I'm in the minority and even I only have 20TB at most (and that's spread across multiple machines/external drives). Majority are lucky if they have 1TB (IIRC most machines come with 500GB at most at present, and the vast majority of Joe Public don't have flash drives, let alone external drives or a NAS)

      2. juice Silver badge

        Re: Still Avoiding Them

        > OK I'l bite - HDDs ?? WTF !?!

        Prices are starting to drop for solid state drives - after wading through Amazon's[*] surprisingly clunky search mechanisms, I can see 2TB SATA drives for as little as £132.

        But a 2TB HDD is just £45, or roughly a third of the cost.

        Similarly, a 10TB SATA HDD is £245, where as the largest SSD I can spot is just 8TB and £560.

        Spinning rust is still the most cost effective storage, and it's still ridiculously easy to fill local storage, especially if you're doing things like 4K video editing/rendering.

        ... though I must confess that I'm tempted to grab one of those cheap Crucial 2TB SSDs for my photo/video storage. Should make editing and thumbnail-rendering a whole lot faster!

        Though maybe from Scan, rather than Amazon...

        [*] Using them is perhaps ironic, given the article, but hey.

    5. MrBanana Silver badge

      Re: Still Avoiding Them

      You've been lucky with HMV. One friend has beed waiting 8 months for a backorder copy of Joni Mitchell's blue CD. I ordered The Courier, 2021 Bluray with Benedict Cumberbatch, sure enough it arrived in a shrink wrapped package with the correct cardboard slip cover. However, inside was the appalling 2019 film of the same name. How could they screw that up?

      1. Steven Burn

        Re: Still Avoiding Them

        Only good experience I've had with their online store was ordering 3 copies (family member also wanted one and I wanted a spare (back in the days when I could afford to do so)) of the Meat loaf Hang Cool Teddy Bear Super Deluxe Fan Pack Box Set.

        Damn I miss their local store ........

  5. bronskimac

    Great, bigger charges for the little guy

    I already pay higher charges than big turnover companies. Looking forward to my charges going up to compensate for Amazon's sweetheart deal.

  6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    1.5%??

    Why does it cost Visa more to process a single high value transaction than it does to process many small transactions? Does it really cost Visa £10.50 to process a £1000 transaction compared to £1.50 to process a £100 transaction?

    1. Mark #255

      Re: 1.5%??

      In the UK, the credit card company is jointly liable for all goods and services costing between £100 & £30,000; I'm guessing that the companies don't selflessly absorb the cost of doing this.

    2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: 1.5%??

      It's the credit card 'insurance' - it doesn't cost any more to process the charge, but the potential cost in a chargeback situation is higher.

      (and 1.5% of £1000 is £15, not £10.50)

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: 1.5%??

        "(and 1.5% of £1000 is £15, not £10.50)"

        Oops, yes :-)

        And thanks both for the reminder on the added risk of charge-backs.

  7. mark l 2 Silver badge

    The Amazon and VISA spat was an odd one, as Amazon were complaining about paying a 1.5% fee for accepting VISA credit cards, but yet happily accepted Amex cards which were always higher than Mastercard or VISA rates even with the extra charge that VISA wanted.

  8. msobkow Silver badge

    As if either of them was losing money. :(

    Greed knows no bounds, does it?

    "I refuse to pay what other retailers pay!"

    "I refuse to give you a break for being a monopolist!"

    "Well, then, I guess the consumer gets it...."

  9. Vestas

    Binned Amazon...

    ...I just got pissed off with Amazon whinging about Visa charging them more to process UK-based transactions in Luxembourg which Amazon do to minimise/avoid tax in the UK. I'm sure Visa are no better but Amazon just took the piss. I cancelled the Amazon (Prime) account same day.

    I think many of you might be quite surprised at how limited online ordering has become over the last decade if you don't use Amazon or Ebay.

    You will save a shedload of cash by not casually buying crap though :)

  10. Winkypop Silver badge
    Coat

    I always start on Amazon

    Once I have a “base price” I know what to look for elsewhere.

    Neither Amazon or eBay are cheap, in fact, the Tat Bazaar can be outrageously expensive.

    Looking for loose coins —>

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: I always start on Amazon

      "the Tat Bazaar can be outrageously expensive.

      Live in France. Enjoy Fray Bentos (sorry, guilty pleasure).

      The "sponsored" version of Just Chicken is horrifically expensive. €9,13 with €19,98 delivery. A little down the list is €14,99 for two (free delivery), and then €9,99 for one (free delivery).

      I currently get mine from a friend in the UK. Costs about €15 for three (most of that is postage), but changes in customs have messed that up. Recently La Poste demanded €9 in duty for around £9 worth of Betty Crocker cake mix, having just delivered a near identical parcel without any duty being asked. It was split in two because two 2kg parcels cost much less to send than one 4kg parcel.

      But, yeah, Amazon is okay for some things (Prime delivery often costs more, but I choose it by preference so I can send stuff back if it isn't right, like a recent satellite receiver claiming PVR functionality which did in fact not have any capability of recording), but is equally awful for other stuff.

  11. steviebuk Silver badge

    New this would happen

    But got a MasterCard anyway so I could claim the free £20. Knowing I wouldn't have to use it. Visa card now set back as default.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: New this would happen

      I only got £10! I now feel undervalued. I wonder how that's factored into their retention algorithm.

  12. Xalran

    I haven't seen any surcharge on my last Amazon order... Paid with a French Visa Debit Card.

    Now things might be different with a *credit* card. ( which is something I will not bother to own unless I have no other choice )

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