Walmart ended a fight with Visa, paving the way for customers in Canada to pay with Visa credit cards again.
According to a report by Bloomberg, a Walmart spokeswoman said it reached a deal to continue to accept Visa cards in all of its 409 Canadian stores, putting to bed the threat it would ban Visa in Canada altogether. In June, Walmart Canada had warned it would no longer accept Visa cards in all of its stores unless Visa lowered the fees for credit card transactions. Walmart stopped accepting Visa credit cards in three Thunder Bay stores in July and then 16 more in Manitoba in October. Customers can start using their Visa cards in those stores as of today (Jan. 6).
“We have come to an agreement with Walmart through which Visa credit cards will be accepted at all Canadian Walmart stores,” Carla Hindman, a Visa Canada spokeswoman, said in a statement to Bloomberg. Hindman wouldn’t provide Bloomberg with details of the deal.
When Walmart first rolled out the boycott of Visa cards in Thunder Bay, a Walmart spokesman said sales in Thunder Bay were better than expected following the Visa ban. The spokesman said customers adjusted their payment methods as a result. Surveys conducted on this issue in Canada suggest that consumers are sympathetic with Walmart but believe that they would fail to see any savings passed directly to them if interchange rates were reduced. Survey results also suggested that consumers would be more inclined to shop elsewhere if their Visa cards could not be used at Walmart stores.
This isn’t the only fight Walmart is having with Visa. In May, Walmart filed a lawsuit in New York alleging that Visa prohibits Walmart from insisting that its customers use a PIN when paying with a chip-enabled debit card at checkout.