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Visa fees too high says Walmart Canada

Walmart Canada stores will stop accepting Visa Inc (V.N) cards as the credit card provider charges merchants “unacceptably high” fees, the retailer said on Saturday. 

has been unable to agree with Visa on an “acceptable fee,” and will no
longer accept the company’s credit cards starting July 18, it said in a

The move will not affect the U.S. stores of parent Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N).

Visa spokeswoman said in a statement it offers “one of the lowest rates
available to any merchant in the country” and said Walmart Canada’s
decision will have a negative impact on shoppers.

Representatives of Walmart Canada and Visa declined to address questions on specifics of payment terms.

A Walmart Canada
spokesman said the retailer pays more than C$100 million ($78.27
million) in credit card fees every year, but specific transaction fees
are part of “confidential agreements.”

Canadian retailers have long complained about what they call the high interchange fees they pay credit card companies.

2014 Visa and MasterCard Inc said they would trim Canadian transaction
rates to an average effective rate of 1.5 percent, after complaints
about their fees almost resulted in government intervention.

Unlike American
Express Co, which typically negotiates a flat fee with every merchant,
Visa and MasterCard have variable fees based on the status of their
different cards.

Small retailers,
which usually have less power to negotiate transaction terms, have said
that hurts them as they are never sure of the exact rate they will be
billed between 1 percent and 3 percent on any given transaction.

Walmart Canada said
stores in Thunder Bay in the northwestern part of the Ontario province
will be the first to stop accepting Visa cards, and the change will then
be rolled out “in phases” to the rest of the more than 370 Canadian
Walmart stores.

($1 = 1.2777 Canadian dollars)
A Wal Mart store front is seen in Toronto March 5, 2009. REUTERS/ Mike Cassese

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