An Increase In Credit Card Fees Across Platforms in South America Poses a Burning Question: is Netflix a Necessity or a Luxury?

Some may argue that being a subscriber to popular entertainment demands such as the likes of Netflix and Spotify is a luxury.  However, others argue that on the contrary, it is a necessity.  These claims are backed by powerful influences such as Maria Fernanda Quinones, the president of the Colombian Chamber of Electronic Commerce.  Recently, a handful of South American countries such as Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Argentina, are experiencing high credit card fees in transactions for services: Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon.  This is in part to creditors, Visa and Mastercard, increasing their commission fees for such transactions.  For this reason, the daunting question of if these countries are being stripped of a necessity or a luxury looms in the air.

Although Netflix is blatantly seen as a source of entertainment, it would not be farfetched to also view it as being a provision for more beneficial means.  It is argued that it also plays a vital role in education as well.  The same can be said for other platforms, Spotify and Amazon, which are also subject to high fees in South America.  

It may not come as a surprise but ever since the novel COVID-19 outbreak, demand for such platforms has skyrocketed.  However, the high commission fees may force those soaring numbers to diminish to a fraction of what they once were.  A public survey conducted in Chile demonstrates these very claims.  It illustrated that if subscription fees were subject to an increase, a bold 55% of subscribers would heavily consider dismissing their subscription.  Similar claims were backed by subscribers in Argentina as well.  

Such an increase in credit card fees for such transactions is not exactly new news, however.  Most recently as of mid-January of this year, 2022, Visa has also been under fire in another part of the world.  Amazon Prime in the United Kingdom has dismissed Visa credit cards as being a viable payment method ever since an increase in commission fees as well.  This news has not exactly been taken lightly nor reassuringly as Latin American countries experience a similar fate of high transactional fees.  It is viewed that if such an e-commerce giant as Amazon Prime was not able to put a dent on Visa’s high fees, then what will become of the plight of the South American counterparts across the same and similar platforms.  It appears that only time will tell.  

Date of publication 2/14/2022