Having banned Visa credit cards at its Foods Co. stores over interchange fees, US retail giant Kroger has warned that it could extend the policy to more locations.
From next week, 26 Foods Co. stores will no longer accept Visa credit cards, citing what it considers unfair interchange fees.
Kroger CIO Chris Hjelm has warned that the dispute could escalate, with the ban spreading to the company's main brand, which has more than 2700 stores.
Hjelm told Bloomberg: "It's pretty clear we need to move down this path, and if we have to expand that beyond Foods Co., we're prepared to take that step. We don't believe we have a choice but to use whatever mechanism possible to get it back in alignment."
Foods Co. will continue to accept Visa debit cards, as wells as credit cards from MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Kroger works with Mastercard on its loyalty programme.
In a statement, Visa says it is "disappointed" and "remains committed to working with Kroger to reach a reasonable solution".
In 2017 Visa managed to resolve a similar dispute with Walmart, which had stopped accepting its credit cards at Canadian stores over "unacceptably high" fees.