How Credit Card Companies, Visa and Mastercard, are Taking the “Chill” Out of “Netflix and Chill” in South America

As it turns out, the coined term, “Netflix and chill”, might not be so chill anymore.  That is if one plans to pay via credit card that is and more specifically through the likes of Visa and Mastercard.  Although, Visa has seemingly been taking the major brunt of complaints.  As a result of high commission fees from credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard, popular entertainment avenues like Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime are becoming pricier commodities and seemingly a luxury.

This is not the first time Visa has been under fire for such complaints.  Popular British shopping mart, Kroger, stopped accepting Visa credit card payments at one point.  More recently, however, e-Commerce giant, Amazon Prime, has also called it quits for Visa credit card payments in the United Kingdom as well.  It has recently taken effect mid-January this year, 2022.  The reason cited for the decision was the high commission fees tied in with purchases.  Although initially there was a lot of backlash towards Amazon for its decision, upon deeper introspection, it seems that Brexit or Britain’s parting ways from the European Union may be to blame.  Ever since its political departure from the Union in 2020, regulation has been lacking with how much credit cards can charge thus leading to exorbitant fees.  This has resulted in a call for more stringency in regulations and limitations. The United Kingdom is not alone in its call for a cut-off point for credit card fees.  Rather, Visa and Mastercard are getting some backlash from the likes of many Spanish-speaking countries such as Peru, Colombia, and Argentina, as South America’s streaming services may be headed south as well.  Just as a lack of regulation is to blame for the high Visa credit card fees in the UK, similarly, South America is facing similar concerns.  Transaction fees are especially high in payments for popular digital entertainment avenues like Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime.  This is leaving Latin consumers to wonder at what cost are such streaming services really worth it however begrudgingly so as it is argued that such services are a necessity.  Not only do such platforms provide a means for leisure and entertainment but are also powerful driving forces for education as well.  Since the onset of COVID-19, subscriptions to Netflix have soared but that may be subject to change so long as fees run high.

Date of publication 2/14/2022