retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The BBC reports that Walmart Canada has said it will no longer accept Visa cards, saying that fees attached to their use remained "unacceptably high" after negotiations with the credit card company broke down.

The new policy goes into effect on July 18.

Walmart Canada said that the move was consistent with its broader approach of "taking care of our customers' best interests and delivering on our promise of saving customers money."

Not surprisingly, Visa disagreed, and "accused Walmart of putting its own financial interests ahead of its customers," according to the story. A spokesperson said that "Walmart made this business decision despite Visa offering one of the lowest rates available to any merchant in the country."
KC's View:
I actually think ... and longtime MNB readers will be shocked by this ... that Visa is absolutely correct - Walmart did do this in the name of its own financial interests.

Of course, Walmart would argue - and I'd agree - that standing up for consumers by pushing for lower card fees is very much in its own financial interests, and that's a good thing for shoppers.

This sort of move may inconvenience some folks in the short term, but it is the kind of inconvenience that sends a very good long-term message to shoppers. Walmart should frame this as "we're with you against them" as it communicates this message to shoppers, and should point out that lower card fees can translate to lower prices.

Then, of course, it has to deliver on that promise once Visa agrees to lower fees ... as it inevitably will, because it has to.