US retail giant, Kroger will stop accepting Visa credit cards at its chain of Smith’s food and drug stores and is integrating Bitcoin’s Lightning Network nationwide. Starting 3 April, the Smith’s Food and Drug Stores division of US Supermarket chain Kroger Co will stop accepting Visa credit cards because of high transaction fees but will continue to allow other major credit cards among all other forms of payment like health savings account cards.
On March 1, Kroger made an announcement of its decision to not accept Visa credit cards due to excessive fees. Kroger’s smith’s chain covers 134 food and drug stores across seven states, operating staff of 20,000 staff.
Card fees charged by Visa are higher at Smith’s than any other credit card brand, explained Kroger According to CFO, Mike Schlotman,
“Visa has been misusing its position and charging retailers excessive fees for a long span of time. Further, in April it is increasing fees again for the banks processing card payments on behalf of merchants. In such circumstances, it seemed only natural for somebody to suggest a crypto alternative.”
After Foods Co. supermarkets in California, Smith’s is the second Kroger brand to stop accepting Visa credit cards. The successful implementation of the Blockchain payment solution – Lightning Network – at the retailer could lead to a wider roll-out across Kroger brands. Kroger is the largest supermarket chain in terms of revenue and the third largest employer in the United States. Did you know it is the third largest retailer in the world? As of December 2018, it operated 2,765 supermarkets and multi-department stores.
Now, as Visa and Mastercard have scheduled another round of fee spikes in the upcoming April, this hike would be levied on merchant banks and not on merchants directly. However, there is a possibility that the banks could pass on the fee hike to the sellers. This got the attention of the crypto community. Once Bitcoin starts being accepted at local grocery stores of Kruger, the Bitcoin community will certainly not let go of any chance to boost adoption of Bitcoin.
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