Walmart says it intends to join the list of retailers in Canada that don’t accept Visa cards, citing high fees for transactions. It’s a move a retail analyst has said will cause “pain on all sides.”
All credit cards charge fees to retailers, which generally are between one per cent and 2.5 per cent of the cost of what’s being sold. The fees depend on the type of card the customer is using — cash-back and premium cards generally have higher fees — and the type of retailer they’re shopping at.
But a statement from Visa said the credit card company offered Walmart “one of the lowest rates available to any merchant in the country.”
According to the statement posted on Walmart’s website, the first stores to stop accepting Visa will be in Thunder Bay, Ont., starting July 18. After that, it will be rolled out Canada-wide in phases.
A representative from Walmart said the company chose to start in Thunder Bay because the stores in the northern Ontario city have the infrastructure to easily make the change. He said Walmart started informing Thunder Bay customers of the change on Thursday.
Walmart has more than 400 locations in Canada, and more than 11,500 worldwide.
Walmart isn’t the first store to stop accepting Visa — No Frills doesn’t accept Visa or American Express, saying that they are too expensive for their business. And Costco only accepts MasterCard.