Smith’s Soon Won’t Accept Visa Credit Cards

Mar 1, 2019, 6:20 PM | Updated: 6:34 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Shoppers will soon need to take an extra second to check their wallets before heading to Smith’s Food & Drug stores.

Starting April 3rd, their more than 140 supermarkets and 100 fuel centers across 7 states will stop swiping Visa credit cards.

Smith’s blames Visa’s excessive transaction fees.

“Visa’s fees are more than any other credit card brand that we accept and sometimes even exceeding our grocery margins. Grocery is a very competitive industry, and again, in order to keep our commitment to our customers, who are our priorities, we have to control our costs,” said Aubriana Martindale, Smith’s Food & Drug Division Corporate Affairs Manager.

Visa says their network offers merchants access to more customers, higher sales and security and fraud protection, among other things.

In a statement they say Kroger-owned Smith’s “enjoys all of these benefits, and there is a cost for these services, like any other.”

They continue, “It is unfair and disappointing that Kroger is putting shoppers in the middle of a business dispute.”

“There’s not a fair playing field when it comes to Visa charging these fees to retailers,” Martindale said in response. “Our customers are our priority; we’ve made this decision because of our commitment to them. I do want to stress we will accept Visa debit cards.”

“It’s interesting to see the things you don’t see that are behind the scenes that you don’t even think about,” said Andrew Platt, one of many Utahns who heard of the payment change while stopping into one of 55 Smiths stores in our state Friday.

While both sides say they continue to work on a resolution, Platt plans on still shopping at Smith’s.

“I think if Smiths just rolled over and would accept any fees that Visa put forward, I think that basically Smith’s would just pass on those costs to us, the customer. So I would say I’m supportive of Smiths and what they’re doing,” said Platt.

Smith’s is the second Kroger chain to stop accepting Visa credit cards. A California supermarket chain stopped accepting them in August.

In the weeks leading up to the stoppage, Smith’s is trying to spread the word in many ways and they’re giving customers double the fuel points through most of May because of the inconvenience.

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Smith’s Soon Won’t Accept Visa Credit Cards