Why could paying for Netflix, Spotify or Amazon with a card be more expensive?

The confrontations between Visa, Master Card and streaming platforms begin to move to Latin America. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Illustration/File Photo

How much would you be willing to pay for your streaming services? The question is worth asking especially when the domain of Visa and Mastercard on the electronic purchases you make, begins to exert pressure on the prices of the services that both Netflix, Spotify and Amazon offer.

To give a greater context about the causes of the new rules of the game that can begin to be implemented, it is worth mentioning the United Kingdom as a clear example of what can happen in Colombia as a result of this confrontation.

In November of last year, Amazon decided to stop accepting Visa credit cards, given the high amount of commissions. The reasons: Brexit and the absence of a regulatory limit for them.

According to the London BBC Visa said it was “very disappointed that Amazon threatened to restrict consumer choice” to which Amazon replied that “the cost of accepting card payments remains a barrier for companies that strive to offer the best prices for customers” and added that these, instead of rising, should decrease over time due to technological advances.

In response, Amazon went so far as to offer its Premium customers £20 to switch and make payments by alternative means, but the confrontation seems to cross borders.

In Peru, the Peruvian Chamber of Electronic Commerce (Capece) submitted a letter to the Free Competition Commission of the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property, raising an alert about a similar problem: VISA announced a measure called EMLP that would impose much higher fees on global providers to make local payments.

Given the proximity and the possibility of the same thing happening in Colombia, it is not superfluous to question the position of the authorities. Speaking to Forbes magazine, Maria Fernanda Quiñones, president of the Colombian Chamber of Electronic Commerce (CCCE) said that “The entire industry’s approach to transaction costs must be consistent with current business models.” He also pointed out that considering that the provision of these services is given from a specific location to many other countries in the world, the cost of payment transactions must be “coherent” so that these services reach a greater number of people, since Finally, subscribing to these platforms does not mean dedicating yourself only to entertainment, but also being interested in content that can somehow provide an educational service.

Are franchises underestimating the power of consumers in Latin America against the use of payment methods? The reality is that these monopolistic measures of the multinationals expose them to the risk of widespread rejection.


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