Payment Methods

Walmart Canada Leaves 50.6M Visa Cardholders Hanging

In a recent move by a retailer to protest credit card transaction fees, Walmart Canada said that it will no longer accept Visa in its locations, a move against what the firm says are unpalatably high percentages taken as a slice of goods sold.

Toronto Star reported that the announcement came on Saturday (June 11), with the Walmart unit saying it would “gradually” stop taking Visa at any of its locations, given the fees in place. And yet, noted the publication, Visa fired back, stating that it offers the retailer “one of the lowest rates available to any merchant in the country.”

The initial phaseouts will begin in Ontario mid-month in July, with a gradual movement to phase out Visa acceptance at the more than 400 locations nationwide coming thereafter. As for the rates that are in place, the Visa Canada website offers a range of 1.42 percent to 2.08 percent, which is higher than the rates charged, by way of example, through MasterCard, which come in at 1.2 percent for merchants, with a minimum net purchase volume of at least $3 billion (a threshold Walmart Canada would cross easily).

In the meantime, Visa remains the largest payments network within Canada, as it has as many as 50 million cards that are currently in circulation, and those cards are used to facilitate more than $232 billion in transactions, according to the most recent annual data. Walmart’s Canadian operations will continue to accept Discover, Amex and MasterCard.

The retailing giant did say, however, that it remains hopeful that it can “reach an agreement” with Visa that would make some headway toward lowering the fees charged at those locations in Canada, reported Toronto Star.

Visa issued a statement, saying: “We regret Walmart’s decision to no longer accept Visa at its Canadian stores and the negative impact their decision will have on loyal shoppers across Canada.  Walmart made this business decision despite Visa offering one of the lowest rates available to any merchant in the country.  We are disappointed that Walmart chose to put their own financial interests ahead of their own consumers’ choice.”

 

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