Smith’s Food & Drug Stores have announced they will stop accepting Visa credit cards as a form of payment beginning April 3. Smith’s will continue to accept all other forms of payment, including Visa debit cards.
They say the excessive fees that Visa and its issuing banks charge retailers drive up food prices for all customers. Visa’s fees are reportedly the highest of any credit cards accepted in Smith’s and exceed grocery store margins in the highly competitive food retail industry.
“Visa has been misusing its position and charging retailers excessive fees for a long time,” said Mike Schlotman, Kroger’s executive vice president and CFO. “They conceal from customers what Visa and its banks charge retailers to accept Visa credit cards. At Smith’s, Visa’s credit card fees are higher than any other credit card brand that we accept. Visa’s excessive fees and unfairness cannot continue to go unchecked. That’s why, starting April 3, Smith’s will accept all forms of payment except Visa credit cards.”
Smith’s employs over 20,000 associates and operates 55 stores in Utah; 45 stores in Nevada; 23 stores in New Mexico; 7 stores in Wyoming; and 4 stores each in Idaho, Montana and Northern Arizona.
“Grocery is a competitive business and our ability to keep prices low for our customers depends on controlling costs,” said Kenny Kimball, president of Smith’s. “To help our customers through this transition, we have great offers inside our stores today, including double rewards points towards fuel purchases and other promotions to save on their groceries.”
Smith’s is offering all customers double the rewards points towards fuel purchases through May 21. Additional savings in groceries and fuel are available for qualifying customers.
Smith’s stores will continue to accept all other forms of payment, including major credit cards such as Mastercard, Discover, and American Express; cash and checks; electronic benefit transfer cards from SNAP and WIC programs; and Mastercard and Visa debit cards both with and without PIN and health savings account cards.