Wal-Mart Canada Will Stop Accepting Visa Cards, Citing Fees

  • Company says trimming credit-card costs to keep prices low
  • Visa says retailer’s decision will hurt Canadian shoppers

Wal-Mart Canada, a unit of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said it will no longer accept Visa credit cards because the fees applied to purchases are too high.

“To ensure we are taking care of our customers’ best interests and delivering on our promise of saving customers money, we constantly work to reduce our operating costs, including credit card fees,” the Mississauga, Ontario-based company said Saturday in a statement. “Unfortunately, Visa and Wal-Mart have been unable to agree on an acceptable fee for Visa transactions. ”

The company said it will stop accepting Visa cards as payment beginning July 18 at stores in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The change will be rolled out in phases across Canada. The Wall Street Journal, which reported the decision earlier, quoted a Wal-Mart spokeswoman as saying the move affects only its Canadian stores.

“We regret Wal-Mart’s decision to no longer accept Visa at its Canadian stores
and the negative impact their decision will have on loyal shoppers across Canada,” Connie Kim, a spokeswoman for Visa, said in an e-mailed statement. “Wal-Mart made this business decision despite Visa offering one of the lowest rates available to any merchant in the country. We are disappointed that Wal-Mart chose to put their own financial interests ahead of their own consumers’ choice.”

Wal-Mart Canada pays more than $100 million in credit-card fees every year, according to the company. Lowering such costs is necessary to keep prices low, the company said in its statement.

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