The Kroger Co. has dropped its federal lawsuit against Visa after the grocer and the credit card company came to a settlement agreement, according to a report in the Cincinnati Business Courier, citing Visa’s recent quarterly report, which came out in late July. The settlement’s details are confidential.
Kroger filed suit in 2016, alleging that Visa threatened to raise fees and cut off the supermarket operator from accepting its debit cards because of a dispute about the use of personal identification numbers (PINs) to verify debit-card transactions. At the time of the lawsuit, Kroger said it had already been fined $7 million by Visa over the dispute. Visa denied the allegations.
Although the lawsuit has been settled, a separate disagreement that resulted in two Kroger banners refusing to accept Visa credit cards in their stores is still unresolved, the Courier noted, referencing a report in Digital Transactions News.
According to Kroger, Smith's Food & Drug Stores and Foods Co. stopped accepting Visa because of the excessive interchange and network fees that Visa and its issuing banks charge retailers, which are driving up food prices for shoppers.
Cincinnati-based Kroger operates nearly 2,800 retail food stores under various banner names, employing nearly half a million associates. The retailer is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.