Kroger looks to eliminate Visa credit cards from stores

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Kroger officials have eliminated Visa as a payment option at their subsidiary stores in California and said they’re considering getting rid of the payment options at other stores nationwide.

Like many people, Demarrius Williams relies on Visa to pay for groceries and everything else.

“It’s the most common credit card. I have three bank accounts – all of them associated with Visa,” he explained.

“It’s the only form of payment I use,” shopper Abbey Barnum said.

Starting in two weeks, shoppers in California will not be able to use their Visa credit cards at Kroger-owned store Food Co.

Kroger released the following statement:

The high costs associated with VISA’s interchange rates and network fees are the highest total fees of any credit card brand and are inconsistent with our customer promise.

“They should meet in the middle or compromise. Maybe lowering of the fees,” Barnum said.

There’s no doubt, Kroger’s trying to put pressure on the credit card company to do just that but it’s unclear if it’ll work.

Visa released a statement to WREG saying:

Visa is disappointed at Kroger’s decision to stop accepting Visa credit cards at its Foods Co. stores. When consumer choice is limited, nobody wins. Our goal is to protect the interests of our cardholders to ensure they can use their Visa credit cards wherever they shop. Visa remains committed to working with Kroger to reach a reasonable solution.

Meanwhile, Kroger stores in the Mid-South are still accepting Visa, but officials say they’re considering making the move at more stores.

“I’d just go to another grocery store. It’s too much of a hassle. [I’d go to] Super Lo, Aldi or something like that,” Williams said.

“I wouldn’t pull out cash to go to the grocery store. That’s really inconvenient. I wouldn’t go to Kroger,” Barnum said.

But the restriction in California is only for credit cards. Shoppers can still use debit cards.

Jeremy Sullivan said that makes the decision acceptabe.

“If they’re still gonna take the debit cards I don’t see why that would be a big deal,” Sullivan said.

To put in perspective, Visa has more users than any other credit card. The U.S. Census estimates nearly 110 million users have a Visa. Mastercard has the next-most with around 94 million.

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