Kroger Banner to Stop Accepting Visa Credit Cards

Foods Co to Stop Accepting Visa Credit Cards
Starting in August, Foods Co will no longer accept payment by Visa credit card

Foods Co Supermarkets’ 21 stores and five fuel centers in Central and Northern California will no longer accept Visa credit cards as a form of payment, effective Aug. 14. According to the Food 4 Less banner, the move will enable it to save on the high costs associated with the credit card company’s interchange rates and network fees, and to pass the savings on to customers in the form of everyday low prices on grocery staples.

Foods Co customers will, however, will be able to keep using other forms of payment to purchase items, among them all debit cards, including Visa; cash; checks; SNAP; and MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards.

“Our customers consistently tell us that one of the most important factors in choosing Foods Co as their supermarket of choice is our low prices,” noted Bryan Kaltenbach, the banner's president. “At Foods Co, we are committed to saving our customers money. Today’s decision will help Foods Co continue to deliver great value to our customers with low prices, fresh products and friendly service.”

Added Kaltenbach: “We realize this will be a change for some customers, but we believe this change will benefit all our customers by allowing our Foods Co stores to continue to offer the things our customers value most, including our low prices, fresh produce and services more than payment type.”

The stores that are discontinuing acceptance of Visa credit cards are located in Bakersfield, Fresno, Hanford, Lompoc, Oakland, Pittsburg, Richmond, Sacramento, Salinas, San Francisco, Santa Maria, Soledad and Tulare.

Further, Foods Co's parent company, Kroger, may implement the policy at its other banners, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“It’s pretty clear we need to move down this path, and if we have to expand that beyond Foods Co, we’re prepared to take that step,” CIO Chris Hjelm told the newspaper, noting that when the amount that retailers pay in interchange 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.”

Compton, Calif.-based Food 4 Less/Foods Co employs more than 11,000 associates in 129 price-impact, warehouse-format supermarkets under the banners Food 4 Less in Southern California, Illinois and Indiana, and Foods Co in Central and Northern California. Food 4 Less is a subsidiary of The Kroger Co., based in Cincinnati, which ranked second in Progressive Grocer's Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.

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