Kroger Repeals Ban on Visa Cards

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Kroger Repeals Ban on Visa Cards

By Gina Acosta - 10/30/2019
Kroger Repeals Ban on Visa Cards
Kroger stopped accepting Visa cards last year at its Foods Co. banner in California, and then widened the ban to other stores

The Kroger Co. has rescinded its ban on Visa cards.

The company will now allow the payment network’s credit cards to be accepted in all of its stores several months after the chain stopped accepting Visa cards at hundreds of its locations.

The company stopped accepting Visa cards last year at its Foods Co. banner in California. It widened the ban in March when it stopped accepting the network’s cards at Smith’s. When it widened the ban, the grocery chain said that it would "continue to explore options" to reduce swipe fees paid to credit card companies. 

For the time being, however, banning Visa cards will no longer be an option for Kroger.

“Kroger now accepts Visa credit cards at all our family of stores, including Smith’s and Foods Co.,” Kristal Howard, a spokeswoman for Kroger, said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg, noting that the change is effective on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

In a separate matter, Kroger dropped a federal lawsuit against Visa in August after the grocer and the credit card company came to a confidential settlement agreement. 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. Visa denied the allegations.

Cincinnati-based Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve 9 million-plus customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,769 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.