Kroger bans Visa credit cards at 134 stores over 'excessive' fees that 'drive up food prices'

KrogerAP

  • Kroger will stop accepting Visa credit cards at its Smith's Food & Drug Stores chain starting April 3.
  • "Visa has been misusing its position and charging retailers excessive fees for a long time," said Kroger CFO Mike Schlotman.
  • Kroger said it is considering options to lower credit card transaction fees at its other stores, as well.

Kroger is banning Visa credit cards at its Smith's Food & Drug Stores chain.

The chain, which has 134 stores across seven states, will stop accepting Visa credit cards as a form of payment starting April 3, Kroger said Friday.

In a press release, the company slammed Visa's transaction fees as "excessive" and said they "drive up food prices for all customers."

"Visa has been misusing its position and charging retailers excessive fees for a long time," said Kroger CFO Mike Schlotman. "They conceal from customers what Visa and its banks charge retailers to accept Visa credit cards. At Smith's, Visa's credit card fees are higher than any other credit card brand that we accept.

"Visa's excessive fees and unfairness cannot continue to go unchecked. That's why, starting April 3, Smith's will accept all forms of payment except Visa credit cards."

The decision follows Kroger's earlier ban on Visa credit cards at its California-based Foods Co. Supermarket chain in August.

Kroger said it is actively considering options to lower credit card transaction fees at its other stores, as well.

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