Kroger which owns Ralphs, is the nation's largest supermarket chain by revenue.
An estimated $90 billion are racked up in credit card swipe fees annually according to Bloomberg, and Kroger is edging closer to banning the use of Visa at their brand locations throughout the United States.
Kroger says its Food Co. Supermarkets will stop using Visa credit cards in 21 of its California locations and five fuel centers this month. They will still accept Visa Debit cards.
“It’s pretty clear we need to move down this path, and if we have to expand that beyond Foods Co., we’re prepared to take that step,” Kroger spokesperson Chris Hjelm said. "When the amount retailers pay in card fees gets out of alignment, as we believe it is now, we don’t believe we have a choice but to use whatever mechanism possible to get it back in alignment.”
Kroger is the nation's largest supermarket chain by revenue and their Foods Co. Supermarkets includes Baker’s, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Gerbes, King Soopers, Jay C, Food Store, Owens Market, Pay-Less Super Markets, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s Food and Drug.
California stores will continue to take Visa until August 14.
Visa issued a statement upon hearing of Kroger's decision:
"Visa is disappointed at Kroger’s decision to stop accepting Visa credit cards at its Foods Co. stores. When consumer choice is limited, nobody wins. Our goal is to protect the interests of our cardholders to ensure they can use their Visa credit cards wherever they shop. Visa remains committed to working with Kroger to reach a reasonable solution," they said.