Wal-Mart Ends Threat to Ban Visa Credit Cards Across Canada
By Doug Alexander, Bloomberg News
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reached an agreement to continue accepting Visa Inc. credit cards across Canada, ending the retailer’s threat to bar the world’s largest payments network from its 409 stores in the country.
Customers in Manitoba and Thunder Bay, Ontario, will be able to use their Visa cards starting Friday, Alex Roberton, a spokesman for the retailer, said in an e-mailed statement.
Wal-Mart’s Canadian unit threatened in June to expel Visa from all of its stores nationwide unless the network agreed to lower the amount it charges for credit-card transactions. Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, stopped accepting Visa at its three Thunder Bay outlets on July 18, and followed up three months later with a ban at 16 stores in Manitoba.
“We have come to an agreement with Wal-Mart through which Visa credit cards will be accepted at all Canadian Wal-Mart stores,” Carla Hindman, a Visa Canada spokeswoman, said in a statement. She declined to elaborate.
Walmart Canada, which has said it pays more than C$100 million ($76 million) annually on credit-card transaction fees, called the amount Visa charges “unacceptably high” in a June 11 statement on its website.
Visa rose 0.2 percent to $81.28 in early trading at 8:34 a.m. in New York. The stock gained 7.7 percent in the past 12 months, trailing the 17 percent advance for the 67-company S&P 500 Information Technology Index.