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Walmart Ends Visa Ban in Canadian Stores

The two companies have settled their dispute over card fees.
January 9, 2017

​MANITOBA, Canada – The Visa ban is over at 19 Walmart Canada stores. “We have come to an agreement with Visa which allows us to continue offering Visa as a form of payment in our (Canadian) stores. Customers in Manitoba and Thunder Bay, Ontario, will be able to use their Visa credit card starting January 6, 2017,” per a statement on Walmart Canada’s website.

On July 18, 2016, Walmart Canada stopped accepting Visa credit cards at three Thunder Bay stores and expanded the ban to 16 stores in the province of Manitoba beginning October 24.

Following an evaluation of credit card transaction fees in Canada and the rest of the world, Walmart determined that the fees applied to Visa credit card purchases remain unacceptably high.

“To ensure we are taking care of our customers’ best interests and delivering on our promise of saving customers money, we constantly work to reduce our operating costs, including credit card fees. Unfortunately, Visa and Walmart have been unable to agree on an acceptable fee for Visa transactions,” the retailer stated in a September press release, adding, “Walmart Canada pays [more than] $100 million in fees to accept credit cards each and every year. Lowering costs such as these is necessary for us to be able to keep our prices low and continue saving our customers money.”

Both Walmart and Visa declined to share details about the agreement with the Wall Street Journal, although Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove commented that the retailer continues “to believe the fees charged by Visa and other credit-card companies are too high.” During the card ban, most customers used other forms of payment, Hargrove added.