The number of card accounts has increased 2.6 percent year over year.

Kroger may expand ban on Visa credit cards to more stores

Due to Visa Inc.’s high annual swipe fees — a $90 billion problem — Foods Co., a unit of supermarket chain Kroger, has banned payment using Visa credit cards at 26 California stores and gas stations operating under the brand.

» RELATED: Publix vs. Kroger: Which grocery store has the best prices?

“Visa's rates and fees are among the highest of any credit card brand,” Foods Co. said in a statement Monday. “The savings will be passed along to Foods Co. customers in the form of low everyday prices on the items shoppers purchase most.”

According to Bloomberg, Kroger is also thinking about expanding the ban to some of its other 2,779 stores.

» RELATED: What is a ‘good’ credit card?

“If we have to expand that beyond Foods Co., we’re prepared to take that step,” Kroger CIO Chris Hjelm told Bloomberg. Visa’s card fees are “out of alignment” he said. “We don’t believe we have a choice but to use whatever mechanism possible to get it back in alignment.”

Visa expressed disappointment with Kroger’s decision and told Bloomberg the company “remains committed to working with Kroger to reach a reasonable solution.”

» RELATED: This change will affect every Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover cardholder

Both Visa and American Express Co. dropped more than 2 percent each in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Monday.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.