SINGAPORE—Starting Sept. 15, Amazon Singapore will put a 0.5% surcharge on all customer orders paid via Visa as a way to offset credit card swipe fees, Geek Culture reports. The retailer cited Visa’s “high cost of payments” as the impetus behind the fee. It appears to be the first time an online retailer has added a surcharge tied to a specific method of payment.
“The cost of accepting card payments continues to be an obstacle to providing the best prices for customers. These costs should be going down over time with innovation and technological advancements, which allows merchants to reinvest savings into low prices and shopping enhancements for customers. Yet, despite these advancements, some cards’ cost of payments continue to stay high or even rise,” an Amazon spokesperson told Geek Culture.
“As a result of Visa’s continued high cost of payments, a surcharge is being added to Visa credit card payments in Singapore,” the Amazon spokesperson said. “We understand this is inconvenient for customers, and [we] encourage them to switch to other payment methods moving forward in order to avoid a surcharge. With the rapidly changing payments landscape around the world, we anticipate a future that is less card-centric in the coming years, and we will continue innovating on behalf of customers to add and promote faster, cheaper, and more inclusive payment options to our stores across the globe.”
In the U.S. last month, the Merchants Payments Coalition, which represents retailers and others fighting for a more competitive, transparent card system, said it welcomed an executive order on competition signed by President Joe Biden and calling for its principles to be applied to address lack of competition in the payments market. In March, under pressure from lawmakers, retailers, NACS and other trade groups, Visa and Mastercard announced another postponement of a scheduled swipe-fee hike until April 2022.