Foods Co to ban Visa cards at all locations starting Aug. 14

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SAN FRANCISCO – FEBRUARY 25: Visa credit cards are arranged on a desk February 25, 2008 in San Francisco, California. Visa Inc. is hoping that its initial public offering could raise up to $19 billion and becoming the largest IPO in U.S. history. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

CINCINNATI, OH (WCMH) – The nation’s largest grocery store chain will no longer accept Visa credit cards at one of its subsidiaries and hasn’t ruled out a ban at all Kroger locations nationwide.

The dispute is over Visa’s high annual swipe fees.

Foods Co., a California subsidiary of the Ohio based grocery chain, says it will no longer accept Visa at its locations starting Aug. 14.

“Visa’s rates and fees are among the highest of any credit card brand,” Foods Co. said in a statement Monday. “The savings will be passed along to Foods Co. customers in the form of low everyday prices on the items shoppers purchase most.”

Bloomberg reports Kroger may expand the ban to some of its other 2,779 stores.

“If we have to expand that beyond Foods Co., we’re prepared to take that step,” Kroger CIO Chris Hjelm told Bloomberg. “When the amount retailers pay in card fees “gets out of alignment, as we believe it is now, we don’t believe we have a choice but to use whatever mechanism possible to get it back in alignment.”

Visa told CNBC it is frustrated with Kroger’s move.

“Visa is disappointed at Kroger’s decision to stop accepting Visa credit cards at its Foods Co. stores,” it said in a statement. “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.”



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