Now that Visa and Walmart have stepped out of the ring, some experts are positing their theories on which player emerged the winner in the six-month dispute over card fees.

The companies aren't saying what kind of deal was struck, but Ian Lee, an associate professor in the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, suspects Visa came out on top.

"I believe that Visa's the winner," said Lee, noting the card's popularity with consumers. "I think Walmart caved in."

Walmart stopped accepting Visa cards at its stores in Thunder Bay, Ont. in July, and later expanded the ban to stores in Manitoba, but the promised Canada-wide roll-out of the policy never happened. 

On Thursday, the two companies announced that a deal had been reached, and that Walmart would once again accept Visa at all its stores. 

Lee said over the past few months, Walmart would have been watching its three Thunder Bay stores closely. 

"You can bet Walmart was tracking their sales at the stores in Thunder Bay versus other stores that still accepted Visa," he said. 

"And my argument — although I don't have the data, it's highly confidential — I am arguing that they suffered a loss. Their sales went down in the Thunder Bay stores that did not accept Visa."

Visa Walmart billboard

Visa has been advertising its cards on billboards across Thunder Bay, Ont. This one is located right next to the city's largest Walmart store. The two retail and credit card giants were locked in a battle over interchange fees. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Not everyone agrees that Visa must be the victor. 

Steve Tissenbaum, a professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, thinks the credit card company would have had to compromise by lowering fees to some extent.

The fact that they reached a resolution is good for both players, said Tissenbaum. 

"I think Visa won because they kept Walmart as an account, and Walmart won because they are able to control their cost, which is really their mantra," he said.