THUNDER BAY, ON – Shoppers in Thunder Bay now have one less way to pay at Walmart.
As of today, Visa will no longer be accepted at the three Walmarts there.
The two giants are locked in a battle over merchant fees and Walmart is threatening to ban Visa in all 400 Canadian locations.
Karl Littler is the vice-president of public affairs with the Retail Council of Canada sides with Walmart, saying Visa’s rates are too high.
“We’re very hopeful that Visa will do what it has done in other countries around the world, which is offer more reasonable fees. The way they are now, merchants in Canada pay five times the rate that Visa offers in Europe for the same services.”
Littler adds the Visa-Mastercard duopoly has too much power and needs the government to step in.
“I think there is a reluctance for government to step in and regulate outcomes and prices. Normally they do that only where it’s a monopoly. The reality is these companies are just an immense duopoly, they dictate prices and they are non-negotiable,” Littler explains. “We think the better way is for the government to recognize that this is a duopoly, that it is appropriate to regulate these prices and bring them somewhere more into a relationship to the value actually provided.”
Walmart hasn’t provided a timeline, at least publicly, of when the Visa bans could extend to other stores nationwide.