Why do people keep saying Amazon does not accept debit cards as a charge card?

So I’ve always used debit cards, and know other people who do as well, and it’s never been an issue. The cards all have either a visa or mastercard logo on them. When I input the debit card in seller central it’s even identified as a debit card on the page you enter it on.

I have had issues in the past where a card was rejected (and you get the message to enter a credit card to regain access to the account), but it wasn’t on the basis that it was a debit card. It was an issue of the billing zip code not matching and once that was updated it got accepted.

Logically speaking, the reason why Amazon wants a card on file is they have a payment method that they can charge for any fees incurred, and a debit card serves that purpose. One argument I can think of is someone might not have money in their linked bank account, but that same argument applies with a credit card that’s almost maxed out.

I think people complaining that their debit card isn’t working have some other issue, and it’s not that Amazon strictly wants a credit card. They might have some billing address mismatch (this is actually tricky when it comes to debit cards, sometimes the AVS billing address doesn’t update properly if you update the address associated with the bank account itself), or if they’re using a non-US bank account, their debit card may not allow international/different currency charges.

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Except that in this case (unlike their weasel/waffle language on RA) they actually have a credit card requirement on the site.

Here are the steps on the Amazon “help” board for fixing the issue IF you have a valid card to use:

Update your credit card information

If you have received an error message about your credit card, it is important to update your credit card information as soon as possible.

Check the below information related to your credit card:

Is the credit card valid?

Is there a minimum charge amount?

Are you using a pre-paid card? (Note: Use of a pre-paid card is not accepted for a selling account.)

Does the bank have a record of the charge attempt?

Are there bank limits or policies that prevent the charge attempt from being authorized?

Is there any incorrect credit card information entered? (Note: All the credit card information entered such as number, name, address, ZIP code, or expiration date must be an exact match with your card details.)

Is this chargeable in the currency of the Amazon marketplace where you registered your seller account?

Until the card verification problem is resolved, Amazon won’t be able to process any payments for your account.

Note: Only the primary account owner can make changes related to payment information.

In addition, there have been numerous posts saying to be sure to put the credit card in your buyer side FIRST and then into the seller side. For some reason doing it the other way causes problems for the Amazon gerbil tubes of information flow.

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Understandably, they don’t accept a pre-paid card that you buy from 7-11.

A debit card is not a prepaid card. But I’ve seen MANY people, here, on the official forums, and on many other random websites that say credit card only. But I think a bank issued (not prepaid) debit card is just as valid.

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But why would you do that, though? Even my bank says it’s better to use a credit card. When there’s fraud, the money is gone. Sure, you might get it back, but it takes a whole lot more time and energy. Meanwhile, your account gets locked down. You might need to change account numbers, etc. That’s what my banker told me. It’s much easier to resolve fraud with a credit card.

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Because it’s the debit card linked to the bank account that’s used for Amazon. And that card is exclusively used for the seller account (because we don’t use debit cards for purchases for exactly the reason you stated). The likelihood of Amazon fraudulently charging the card should be a non-issue.

The business’s credit card is used for other things, and that we have had fraud issues and a new card issued multiple times in the past as it’s widely used. That would cause an issue with the seller account every time it’s reissued. Not to mention if someone uses the card number on a random buyer account on Amazon it could potentially link us to something we don’t want to be linked to if that same card is used on our seller account.

Yes we could order an additional card that’s solely used for the Amazon seller account, but why do that when there’s already a debit card that’s never used for anything else?

Because for new sellers, most times they don’t work.

Amazon mods have even said so a few times.

Banks have mostly updated their software and now report back if a card is a debit or not, prior to 2018 I think most did not report back if they were debit or not.

Legacy verified accounts, if debit is working for you, GREAT, that indicates either your bank is not telling Amazon it is a debit card, OR Amazon knows it is a debit card and simply does not care.

The bottom line is: When a new account is told to check if they “have a valid credit card on file” and the seller states everything else matches but they have a debit card, we have seen and heard from these sellers that SIMPLY entering a valid credit card allows their account to activate.

Fact

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You brought up some good points. I will look into getting another card just in case I need it.

As for your debit card, if it’s working, I’d hesitate to change it. I never want to do anything that might cause a glitch.

This qualifies as the best advice ever for Amazon selling…
1pzb18

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FMT/CMT Sandy was particularly prominent on that score last year, before her (his???) shift in focus of specialization from SIV to Brand Registry, as these posts made in the OSFE indicate:

2Feb`22 (link, NSFE)

15Feb`22 (link, NSFE)

23May`22 (link, NSFE)

I’ve seen a score or more of posts from seasoned old hands, since 2018 or so, mentioning that they were apparently ‘grandfathered’ for the use of a Debit Card for Credit Method Manager, and nearly a dozen or so from folks like that who mentioned that they lost that ability over the last four years - but as you astutely note, there have been literally thousands & thousands of posts, to OSFE & NSFE alike, which would seem to belie the likelihood of new sellers being able to use one (@ least for a U.S.-based account).


ETA:

It is perhaps interesting to note that the two posts from February 2022 (which I archived @ the time they were made, which is why I’m aware of their posting date) both show ‘2 years ago’ as their temporality quotient, while the one from May of that year currently shows ‘1 year ago’ - mayhaps an indication of how the NSFE handles such things?

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I think, as with everything Amazon does, it’s not a consistent “no debit card” policy. They probably evaluate the card provided on multiple factors (which of course are not shared) and reject certain ones they don’t “like” for one reason or another without telling anyone why they actually rejected it.

When you add a charge method it says “credit OR debit card.” I know of people with new accounts who use major US bank debit cards (who’s debit card prefixes are probably known to Amazon) and those get accepted.

And yes, Amazon glitches are one of the seller’s worst enemies.

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Except there can be issues … and they may vary by country … and a debit card functioning as a credit card can still have the following issues …

Update your credit card information

If you have received an error message about your credit card, it is important to update your credit card information as soon as possible.

Check the below information related to your credit card:

  • Is the credit card valid?
  • Is there a minimum charge amount?
  • Are you using a pre-paid card? (Note: Use of a pre-paid card is not accepted for a selling account.)
  • Does the bank have a record of the charge attempt?
  • Are there bank limits or policies that prevent the charge attempt from being authorized?
  • Is there any incorrect credit card information entered? (Note: All the credit card information entered such as number, name, address, ZIP code, or expiration date must be an exact match with your card details.)
  • Is this chargeable in the currency of the Amazon marketplace where you registered your seller account?

Until the card verification problem is resolved, Amazon won’t be able to process any payments for your account.

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Yes, as I stated above, I believe a lot of the problems arise from debit cards not functioning in multiple currencies. I have not worked with any Amazon seller outside of the US and obviously all US bank debit cards are chargeable in US Dollars.

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Once upon a time, a merchant could not tell whether a Mastercard or Visa was a credit or debit card.

As part of a settlement negotiated for a lawsuit about excess network fees, debit cards were permitted to be used on lower cost networks than Visa and Mastercard - typically those used for ATM card transactions.

As a result of this change, the credit card networks implemented a software function for a merchant to determine whether a card was credit or debit. Issuing banks were not required to provide the support for this function in a specific timeframe.

If the bank did not implement the supporting software, all debit cards looked like they were credit cards to the merchant.

Though it has been some years since the function was added, some smaller banks have not implemented the software. Some countries where there are many debit cards and few credit cards have not either.

Amazon performs the credit/debit card check when it qualifies a seller account, and periodically thereafter. You can buy with a debit card but must have what Amazon thinks is a credit card to sell.

Many old time sellers found that without warning, their bank implemented the function and they needed a credit card.

The logic is simple. A seller who has credit is a smaller risk. Someone else thinks they are credit worthy, and there are two pots of money for Amazon to collect fees and refunds from.

One can read the Visa and Mastercard programming information online and see how easy it is to implement this credit/debit check.

This is separate from the issues you have stated with international use of some credit and debit cards, and the extremely low limits on amount which may be withdrawn at a single time in some banks in some countries.

A lot of sellers have bristled at the suggestion that using a debit card was inferior to a credit card, but it really is different and perhaps inferior. Authorization holds are much more likely to create problems as many sellers with low bank balances have discovered when they pay for gas at the pump.

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I guess that’s a roundabout way of doing a credit check on someone without doing a credit check. As I’ve said before, it’s likely that Amazon analyzes a bunch of factors to determine whether they want to accept your debit card or not.

Same goes with many other things you see people post about. Eg. Amazon asking someone to submit a utility bill. That usually means there’s already some kind of problem with the account.

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You are very correct, and when a seller is new, it does not have those factors to analyze.

Hence, for the sake of KISS for new sellers, it is much easier to say:
Amazon does not accept debit cards.

Yes, we could have a 12 page document explaining why they may not have accepted a brand new sellers debit card who is based in the “usa” but having a VA open the account for them using a freaking green dot pre-paid debit card, but they wouldn’t bother reading that freaking document would they? I mean their guru said they could!

ok, Soap Box down, :stuck_out_tongue:

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The seller at the top of the Amazon forums leaderboard - two versions back used to argue as you do until her credit union implemented the debit card check and she needed to enter a credit card.

Yes, Amazon may do other credit checks, like D&B, but I doubt they actually do any more,

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EXACTLY! As they are not granting the seller any “credit” Amazon has no right to do a “credit check”.
So, they let the credit card company do it for them.

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Amazon has done D&B checks in the past, so I do not believe it is they can’t do credit checks, I think this is cheaper and faster.

They used to do D&B checks on me every quarter.

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And two of those factors are country and year of application.

For US-based 2023 applicants to the .com marketplace, debit cards are not accepted by Amazon. Full stop.

Older Sellers going public with their individual exceptions neither changes these facts nor helps new Sellers.

It only seems argumentative for the sake of arguing.

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Actually they can do a credit check on you if you authorize them to. And they could require that you authorize them to create/keep a seller account.

Landlords run credit checks on people all the time even though they’re not granting any credit.