In Canada, Walmart customers can no longer pay for purchases using their Visa cards due to unjustifiably high fees that the card brings to the company. Walmart came to this decision after evaluating credit card transaction fees in Canada and abroad.
Purchases with the VISA card will no longer be available from July 18th starting with Thunder Bay and onwards throughout all of Canada. This policy will however, be only applicable to locations in Canada, and the length of the entire process is not yet known. Although not accepting VISA anymore, Walmart Canada will still accept MasterCard, Discover, American Express, debit and cash.
Walmart has over 400 stores in Canada, however, the company will not reveal the total of annual credit card sales. It does however state on its website that it pays “over $100 million in fees to accept credit cards each and every year.”
In the meantime, VISA claims this policy will have a bad impact on Canadian shoppers, and VISA is upset at how Walmart is putting their own financial interests above their customers. VISA states that it offered Walmart a very low merchant fee compared to others throughout all of Canada.
This dispute has been boiling for a while:
Walmart and VISA have been fighting for years, it reached its peak in 2014 after Walmart sued VISA due to swipe fees in New York. Walmart claimed that VISA was able to dictate the price of goods and curb competition.
After that, in early 2016, Walmart started another lawsuit with VISA claiming they were using methods which were not very secure to verify debit cards so that they could increase their profit.
Walmart, however, isn’t the only company which no longer accepts VISA in Canada. No Frills doesn’t accept VISA or American Express, claiming both are too expensive. To complicate things even further, Costco only accepts MasterCard.
As a consumer, do these fees impact you?
A credit card fee between 1% and 2.5% of the cost of the good being sold must be payed by all retailers. This credit card fee varies from retailer to retailer depending on where the purchase is made and the method of payment being used. Higher fees are usually associated with cash-back and premium cards.
However, as a consumer you are not responsible for this. As well, any retailer that decides to charge an additional fee in order to use a certain credit card type is violating their contract with the said company.
Then what are you to do when you usually shop at Walmart with a VISA? You could look for a new credit card which fits your needs. Maybe you will consider the MBNA Rewards MasterCard which makes you eligible for 5000 MBNA bonus points after the first transaction; this is equal to around $50 when it is redeemed for travel or cash-back. Another offer is Tangerine, this company also offers a money-back credit card in which you can earn up to 4% back in the three first months in which you make purchases in the categories you choose.
A different option would be to perhaps switch to another retailer for your shopping desires. Consider a store which caters to your needs at the best prices possible, perhaps this is your chance to find a better retailer. Think of applying for the President’s Choice Financial MasterCard in which you can earn points towards free goods.
Walmart Canada does however state that it still hopes it can eventually reach an agreement with VISA for lower fees.
If this change impacts your shopping habits, it’s a good idea to look for options. Feel free to check out or website Arbetov Insurance for the best tips on credit cards, or contact one of our advisors, we’re here to help!