MILLIONS of people have seen their Visa debit cards replaced with Mastercards amid an industry war against the payments giant.
Santander and First Direct customers have received replacement Mastercard debit cards to use with their checking accounts, and NatWest will follow suit soon.
The banks denied their decision was tied to the fees Visa charges and said it was to improve the customer experience.
But the change has left customers unhappy with the failure of their new cards at checkouts.
An angry user said: “You need to fix this problem, you changed all my cards to MASTERCARD, guess what happens when there is a problem with Mastercard ?!
âI must have left a store earlier after having already had the service, luckily they knew meâ¦ they still have to be paid. “
Another fumed: “Sort out @santanderuk since you switched from Visa to Mastercard, there have only been problems.
âMy account is not working today. Good job, it’s not my main account and I have a few checking accounts with other banks. As soon as the interest rate on my savings runs out, I leave!
On October 21, Santander tweeted: âWe are aware that some customers continue to experience issues with our card payments.
“We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused and we are working hard to resolve the issue as quickly as possible”
First Direct also had youth problems.
“On the phone AGAIN to resolve random declined payments. + Lots of #retail applications that do not fully support MasterCard security controls. This call lasts 18 minutes and counts! #BringBackVisa @Visa“
NatWest customers have been informed that their expired Visa debit cards will be replaced with Mastercard cards starting in December.
Some have speculated that the decision to ditch Visa cards was linked to the company’s ongoing dispute with Amazon, in which Amazon said it will no longer accept Visa credit cards as of January. due to the high transaction fees.
Visa debit cards will still be accepted on the site.
But banks say the move is not recent, although some customers are only now receiving their new Mastercards.
It comes as Amazon announced that it will not accept Visa credit card payments starting in January.
Secretary Salim, NatWest Group, said: âOver the past year, we have given a lot of thought to how we are developing more personalized payment options for our customers.
âEarlier this year, we announced that we were expanding our existing relationship with Mastercard beyond credit cards and debit payments.
âWe believe this partnership will allow us to offer more personalized payment options to our customers, however they choose to pay, whether in store, online or via mobile devices. “
Santander said, âWe regularly review our third-party vendors, and the decision to switch from Visa to MasterCard was based on a wide range of factors.
“In October, a small number of customers encountered issues with payment. It was related to our own internal systems and had nothing to do with MasterCard, and we are sorry for the inconvenience.”
The Sun has contacted Visa, Mastercard and First Direct for comment.
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