Visa has found a unique way to retaliate against Walmart for the retailer's decision to stop accepting its credit cards in Manitoba.
The credit card company is offering $10 in credit to anyone who spends $50 on groceries in Manitoba at stores other than Walmart.
Those who want to take advantage of the offer — which also excludes convenience stores — have to sign up online before Nov. 15, and will have 15 days to make a qualifying purchase.
A screencap of Visa's page offering a $10 rebate on groceries in Manitoba.
Visa’s promotional offer doesn’t mention Walmart by name, but as Walmart stopped accepting Visa cards at Manitoba stores last month, the move is clearly retaliatory.
“We hope this eases the inconvenience for Visa cardholders in Manitoba who cannot use their card everywhere they may want to,” a spokesperson said, as quoted at Global News.
“For Visa to respond (like this) likely means they’ve already seen a dent in their sales,” Sylvain Charlebois, a professor of management at Dalhouse University, told the Winnipeg Free Press.
"Visa is positioning itself as the savior of consumers and saying, 'Look, Walmart is complaining about our fee but here is what we're trying to do for you.' ... (It's) the battle of (who is) the protector of the grocery shopper."
The two companies have long been embroiled in battles over the fees Visa charges to retailers. Canada became a new frontline in that battle this summer, when Walmart stopped accepting Visa cards at three Thunder Bay locations. It then stopped accepting Visa at 16 Manitoba locations in October.
Walmart says Visa’s fees are excessive. Visa has accused Walmart of using its customers as pawns in their conflict.
Walmart said in June it plans to stop accepting Visa cards across Canada "in the coming months."