Business

Walmart in Manitoba drops Visa at 16 stores starting today

The dispute between Walmart Canada and Visa over merchant fees heats up today as the retail giant stops accepting the credit card at its 16 stores in Manitoba.

Retailing giant started rejecting Visa cards at 3 stores in Thunder Bay in July, saying fees too high

Visa credit cards will no longer be accepted at Manitoba Walmart locations starting in October. (CBC)

The dispute between Walmart Canada and Visa over merchant fees heats up today as the retail giant stops accepting the credit card at its 16 stores in Manitoba.

Walmart first refused Visa credit cards at its three stores in Thunder Bay, Ont., in mid-July, arguing that the financial services firm charges high fees to merchants.

Alex Roberton, a spokesman for Walmart, says the company pays more than $100 million a year in credit card fees and is focused on reducing Visa transaction costs.

Roberton says the impact of its policy on customers in Thunder Bay has been minimal, adding that the stores have seen an increase in cash and debit payments.

Walmart announced in June that it would expand its phase-out of Visa at all of its Canadian stores — more than 400 — though Roberton says it hasn't determined which stores will be next in line.

Visa spokeswoman Carla Hindman says Walmart's action to further limit Visa acceptance in Canada is "disappointing."

Visa has said it offered Walmart one of the lowest rates for any merchant in the country, but Walmart wanted fees that would have been lower than those charged to local grocery markets, pharmacies, convenience stores, charities and schools.

Despite the dispute, both companies say they are committed to working out a solution.

As of Oct. 24, the 16 Walmart stores found through Manitoba will be Visa-free in an attempt to save money. 0:44