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Kroger Adds Another Store Banner to Its Visa Credit Card Ban

Credit cards
New policy at Smith's Food & Drug locations goes into effect April 3.

CINCINNATI — Shoppers at Smith's Food & Drug only have one month left to use Visa credit cards at the retailer's locations. The policy goes into effect on April 3.

The retailer is the second Kroger Co. banner to stop accepting Visa as payment, following the move by 21 Foods Co supermarkets and five Foods Co fuel centers in August.

Cincinnati-based Kroger has begun its policy against Visa credit cards because of the excessive interchange and network fees that Visa and its issuing banks charge retailers, which are driving up food prices for shoppers, reported Convenience Store News sister publication Progressive Grocer.

"Visa has been misusing its position and charging retailers excessive fees for a long time," said Mike Schlotman, Kroger's executive vice president and chief financial officer. "They conceal from customers what Visa and its banks charge retailers to accept Visa credit cards. At Smith's, Visa's credit card fees are higher than any other credit card brand that we accept. Visa's excessive fees and unfairness cannot continue to go unchecked. That's why, starting April 3, Smith's will accept all forms of payment except Visa credit cards."

Salt Lake City-based Smith's stores will continue to accept all other forms of payment, including major credit cards such as Mastercard, Discover and American Express; cash and checks; electronic benefit transfer cards from SNAP and WIC programs; and MasterCard and Visa debit cards both with and without PIN; and health savings account cards.

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