Walmart lifts ban on use of Visa credit cards in Canadian stores

Walmart Canada and Visa have reached an agreement.

Walmart lifts ban on use of Visa credit cards in Canadian stores

Walmart Canada and Visa have reached an agreement, whereby the retailer has started accepting Visa-branded credit cards from 6 January in its stores located in Manitoba and Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Walmart claimed that it was paying more than $100m as interchange fees per annum, despite the fact that Visa and MasterCard, both agreed with the Canadian competition authorities to put a voluntary cap of 1.5% on interchange rates for a period of five years.

When Visa did not respond to Walmart Canada call for fees reduction, the supermarket chain threatened in June 2016 that it would no longer accept Visa cards in its stores unless Visa slashes the fees for credit card transactions known as interchange fees.

Ultimately, Walmart Canada banned Visa credit cards at three stores in Thunder Bay in July 2016. In October, it further restricted use of Visa credit cards at 16 more stores in Manitoba, and warned to ultimately ban the cards at all of its over 400 outlets in Canada.

In a statement, Walmart said: “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.”