Customers upset over Smith’s stores dropping Visa credit card usage

Local News

A popular grocery store chain, announce Friday that it will no longer accept a major credit card — Visa.

Smith’s Customers who use their credit card to pay for groceries and gas are upset by the announcement.

At issue, Smith’s and Visa can’t come to an agreement in a fee dispute.

“I try to make sure I get good bananas, green keeps longer,” said Smith’s shopper David Fowler.

He shows off his groceries proudly as he gets through his weekly routine.

But Fowler won’t be able to pay for his groceries using his credit card for much longer. Come April 3, the food and drug chain will no longer accept Visa credit cards.

“The reason for this is because of the excessive fees charged by Visa and its issuing banks,” said Aubriana Martindale, Smith’s spokesperson. “Unfortunately, those fees do drive up food prices which isn’t fair for our customers.”

The ban, affects thousands of customers, just like Fowler, who shop at almost 150 Smith’s stores and more than 100 fuel centers spread across seven states.

“It’s going to affect me a lot cause that’s how I pay wth my credit card. So, I guess i’ll have to find a different way,” said shopper Molly Ellsworth.

Smith’s would not comment on the exact percantage Visa charges per transaction, just saying that it is the highest of any credit cards accepted at the retailer.

In a statement to 8 News Now, Visa responded to the ban saying, in part:

“The Visa network delivers significant value for merchants including access to more customers, increased sales, security and fraud protection, a quick and convenient checkout experience, and ongoing innovation and implementation of the latest technologies. Kroger enjoys all of these benefits, and there is a cost for these services, like any other.”

As for Smith’s customers, they’re left hoping a resolution is reached, and soon.

“I hope that they’re able to bring the percentages down and we’re able to use Visa again,” Ellsworth said.

Visa says it’s disappointed that customers are stuck in the middle of this dispute. Both Smith’s and Visa say they will continue to negotiate and hope a fair resolution will be reached.

No telling if and when that’ll happen. 

In the meantime, Smith’s will extend certain promotions to its customers.

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