Kroger ends Visa ban

Kroger ends Visa ban

US supermarket giant Kroger is accepting Visa credit cards at all of its stores again, ending a ban begun more than a year ago in protest at "excessive" interchange fees.

The company last year initiated a Visa ban on 26 California stores in its Foods Co. business before extending the policy to 142 Smith's Food and Drug Stores and 108 petrol stations across seven states.

In March, Kroger CFO Mike Schlotman said "Visa's excessive fees and unfairness cannot continue to go unchecked".

However, a threat to extend the ban to the rest of Kroger's 2800 stores failed to materialise and the company is now accepting Visa at all of its stores. It has not given a reason for the reversal.

Comments: (5)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 30 October, 2019, 21:37Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The reason for the reversal is pretty obvious. They received a lot of customer complaints and lost significant business by refusing to accept the largest card brand. It's easier to switch supermarkets than credit cards.

Duane Tough
Duane Tough - PBATM - ny 30 October, 2019, 21:58Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

 can't give one something special and not the others (walmart) and marketing incentive rebates and dollar credits for advertising etc....are not a lower interchange, but the life cycle works itself out to be less....

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 31 October, 2019, 15:01Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Uh oh, a year ago, I'd lauded Kroger's move here. Sad to say its gambit didn't play out. I strongly suspect that the retailer got carried away by the fintech buzz and tried to find alternative payment methods. And realized, as we've seen repeatedly over the last decade, that there just isn't any cheaper alternative to credit / debit cards that are equally popular with consumers.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 31 October, 2019, 18:421 like 1 like

Who's to say that they didn't achieve their objective? The press release tells us nothing! Personally, after all this time I think they'd made their point, achieved concessions from Visa in some form or another and were gagged by the deal reached to say nothing. 

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 01 November, 2019, 09:06Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Yo @FinextraMember at 18:42: Hope you're right! If so, it will restore my faith in free market capitalism. Especially since it would prove that buyers still have power even under an alleged monopoly / duopoly situation.

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