Amazon's Approved Payment Service Providers Announcement

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Amazon recently announced changes to their payments service provider policy. This means if you use a payment provider you need to ensure they are approved by Amazon, otherwise you may face payment disruptions.

Timeline and key points

The key points to pick out from Amazon’s announcements are:

  • March 1, 2021 – new Amazon sellers can no longer add a non-participating PSP
  • May 31, 2021 – sellers receiving into a non-participating PSP will be subject to a longer disbursement reserve period of up to 21 days
  • July 15, 2021, Amazon will stop disbursement to sellers using non-participating PSPs altogether

What is a PSP and why does it matter to Amazon?

A Payment Service Provider (PSP) lets sellers accept electronic payments. An account with PSP is very similar to an account with a bank, but they are regulated differently. Banks have higher regulatory requirements and typically will have stronger fraud prevention controls. 

This is the main reason Amazon draws a distinction between the two and is why they have taken steps to require PSPs to enroll in their program, which requires PSPs to meet higher standards of compliance and information sharing.

What should I do?

Ensure that you have an account with an approved PSP or local bank account before 31 May 2021. Otherwise you may face disruptions in receiving your Amazon disbursement

  1. Check if you are affected by this announcement
  2. Open an account with a PSP which is enrolled in Amazon’s program

Who does this affect?

You use a PSP

If you use a PSP, then you need to check if they are participating in Amazon’s PSP program. The list of PSP providers currently approved by Amazon is here.

At the time of writing, for UK and European sellers, the most popular approved solutions are WorldFirst, Payoneer, and OFX.

Wise (formerly TransferWise is one of the most popular PSPs which is not approved). If you hold a Wise account, we would strongly recommend looking at setting up an alternative PSP account, in case Wise does not succeed in becoming approved before 31 May 2021.

You use a bank account for receiving disbursements

In this case, you do not need to do anything to continue to receive payments from Amazon as normal. 

Note, if you are receiving foreign currency in a bank account you are likely to be able to save on foreign exchange fees by using a multi-currency PSP to receive disbursements. In which case, read on to learn which might suit your business.

Which PSP should I choose?

The answer depends on which features are important to your business and what cost would apply (which is mainly a function of your transaction volume and frequency). We’ve listed the top three PSPs for the UK and European market.

Summary

All three providers below offer a dedicated account manager, with global support, and dedicated offerings for ecommerce businesses. 

  • Best on price for small volume business c. < £500k: OFX
  • Best on price for large volume business c. > £500k: WorldFirst
  • Best on features: Payoneer

Note, this summary is general. All three providers provide some flexibility on pricing for larger volume businesses, so it is worth asking directly.

Payoneer

  • Best for additional features for ecommerce, in particular working capital products. 
  • Free transfers between other Payoneer accounts, which suits sellers whose suppliers also have Payoneer accounts.
  • Flexible pricing, and often the most affordable option for sellers doing more than $80k per month.

Click here to claim Payoneer’s $50 offer which is paid once you have loaded $1,000. Payoneer have additionally offered a 50% discount on payment fees if you let them know you went through Ecommerce Accountants.

WorldFirst

  • Previously the most affordable option for large volume clients doing $500k+ annual FX exchange, but effective price point has moved higher after price changes in Feb 2021.
  • 0.35% fee for £500k annual volume business and 0.25% for £5m+ annually.
  • Access to forward contracts which is useful for larger businesses wishing to hedge FX risk.

Click here to check out WorldFirst’s offering.

OFX

  • Often comes out on top on price for small businesses all the way up to £500k in annual FX volume.
  • Consistently low pricing across almost all currency pairs, with flexibility on pricing, and typically able to price match for large volume sellers.
  • The longest established FX player amongst our PSPs with global coverage and 24/7 support available.

OFX has offered specialised pricing for referrals coming through Ecommerce Accountants which places a cap of 0.5% on the margin charged for FX. Click here to get OFX’ guaranteed margin of 0.5% or less offer.

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