Walmart Canada refuses Visa cards

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) will soon stop accepting Visa cards at stores in Canada, the latest in its efforts to reduce fees paid to process transactions.

"Following an evaluation of credit card transaction fees in Canada and the rest of the world, we have concluded the fees applied to Visa credit card purchases remain unacceptably high," the company said in a statement. "As a result we will no longer accept Visa in our stores across Canada, starting with our stores in Thunder Bay, on July 18, 2016."

Walmart has recommitted to its position as a low cost leader, reducing prices in stores as well as operating costs. The company said it pays more than $100 million in fees anually to accept credit cards and that lowering costs is required to keep prices down in stores.

"We are disappointed that Walmart chose to put their own financial interests ahead of their own consumers' choice," a Visa spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal, adding that it offers "one of the lowest rates available to any merchant in the country."

Stores will still accept Interac debit, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.    

Walmart hasn't given up on Visa completely and said it's optimistic that the two companies can reach an agreement. The two have been locked in conflict for years, with Walmart trying to develop its own payment options and last month filed a lawsuit against Visa for the right to choose how it processes credit card payments.

For more:
- see this Walmart statement
- read this article in The Wall Street Journal

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