Visa credit cards banned at Smith's in Casper and other locations - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Visa credit cards banned at Smith’s in Casper and other locations

(File Photo; Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Smith’s Food and Drug store in Casper is no longer accepting Visa credit cards.

The Kroger Co., which owns Smith’s, issued a press release on March 1, saying that the Smith’s Food and Drug Division would stop accepting Visa credit cards as of April 3.

Kroger said the decision will help keep prices low for Smith’s customers.

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“The excessive interchange and network fees that Visa and its issuing banks charge retailers drive up food prices for all customers,” reads the release. “Visa’s fees are the highest of any credit cards accepted in Smith’s and exceed grocery store margins in the highly competitive food retail industry.”

Visa debit cards and other forms of payment are still accepted, a Kroger representative said.

“Smith’s stores will continue to accept all other forms of payment, including major credit cards such as Mastercard, Discover, and American Express; cash and checks; electronic benefit transfer cards from SNAP and WIC programs; and MasterCard and Visa debit cards both with and without PIN and health savings account cards,” the press release states.

The ban on Visa credit cards applies to 142 supermarkets and 108 fuel centers across seven states, the release adds.

“Smith’s is the second Kroger banner to decline acceptance of Visa credit cards,” the release continues. “It follows Foods Co. Supermarkets in California, which stopped accepting Visa credit cards in August 2018.”

“While no other Kroger banners are presently affected by this announcement, Kroger continues to explore options to reduce the cost of accepting credit cards in order to keep prices low for customers.”

Kroger Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mike Schlotman said in the release that Visa “has been misusing its position.”

“‘They conceal from customers what Visa and its banks charge retailers to accept Visa credit cards,'” the release quotes Schlotman. “‘At Smith’s, Visa’s credit card fees are higher than any other credit card brand that we accept. Visa’s excessive fees and unfairness cannot continue to go unchecked.'”

There are seven Smith’s stores in Wyoming, according to the release. Kroger’s Smith’s Division has stores in Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

Smith’s in Casper is located at 2405 CY Avenue.