Wal-Mart Canada to Extend Visa Ban to All 16 Manitoba Stores

(Bloomberg) -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will stop accepting Visa Inc. credit cards at all 16 of its stores in the Canadian province of Manitoba as of Oct. 24, extending a ban that began two months ago in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The retailer informed customers of the change on its Canadian website and in stores Thursday. Wal-Mart’s Canadian unit has threatened to expel Visa from all 406 of its stores nationwide unless the network agrees to lower the amount it charges for credit-card transactions. Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, stopped accepting Visa at its three Thunder Bay outlets on July 18.

Walmart Canada, which pays more than C$100 million ($76 million) to accept credit cards annually, called the fees Visa charges “unacceptably high” in a June 11 statement on its website.

“Walmart’s decision to further limit Visa acceptance in Manitoba is disappointing," Visa spokeswoman Carla Hindman said in an e-mailed statement. “We know from our experience in Thunder Bay that consumers want the option to use the payment method of their choice when shopping -- including at Walmart stores. Visa remains committed to actively working with Walmart so that Canadians can use their Visa cards wherever they wish to shop."