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Kroger Resumes Accepting Visa Credit Cards At Smith's And Foods Co.

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Kroger Co. ended a more-than-a-year-long dispute with Visa and lifted the ban on Visa credit cards that impacted several of its stores, reports said. The Visa credit cards can now be used at all of the supermarket chain's stores once again.

Reports quoted a company spokeswoman as saying that Kroger is now accepting Visa credit cards at all its family of stores, including its Smith's and Foods Co. divisions.

In August 2018, the Cincinnati-based company had stopped accepting Visa credit cards in its Foods Co. Supermarkets subsidiary in California, saying the "excessive interchange and network fees" charged on retailers by Visa and its issuing banks drove up food prices for all customers.

The company later expanded the ban on Visa cards in April this year to its larger Smith's Food & Drug Stores chain, saying that the decision will help keep prices low for customers. It had also threatened to extend the ban to stores operated by it under different brand names.

Kroger had accused Visa of misusing its position and charging retailers excessive fees for a long time. The company alleged that Visa's credit card fees were higher than any other credit card brands that were accepted at its stores.

The Visa card ban at Smith's stores spanned 142 supermarkets and 108 fuel center locations in seven states.

After the ban, Smith's stores continued to accept all other forms of payment, including credit cards such as Mastercard, Discover, and American Express; cash and checks; and MasterCard and Visa debit cards.

However, Kroger did not extend the ban to the majority of its almost 2,800 grocery retail stores operated under different banner names such as Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Haris Teeter and King Scoopers.

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