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Kroger Store Front with Bitcoin in the Sky

U.S. Supermarket Chain Kroger Ditches Visa and Considers Bitcoin’s Lightning Network as Replacement

Reading Time: 2 minutes by on March 5, 2019 Adoption, Bitcoin, Business, News
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Major U.S.-based retailer Kroger has announced it will no longer accept Visa Credit cards at its Smith’s food and drug stores because of exorbitant fees. Anthony Pompliano Tweeted a suggestion to hook them up with Bitcoin’s Lightning Network countrywide, and it appears like Kroger may be taking up the offer.

An Issue with Excessive Fees

The Cincinnati-based Kroger that operates 143 food and drug stores across seven states and employs over 20,000 people began the debate with a March 1, 2019 announcement that it was no longer going to accept Visa credit cards as a result of high fees.

According to Boston 25 News, Kroger brands would stop accepting Visa from April 3, 2019, in some states and will “explore other options” to cut down on the costs incurred by Visa.

Kroger CFO Mike Schlotman lamented that the card fees charged by payments titan were higher at Smith’s than any other credit card brand adding that Visa was due to increase its processing fees in April.

He explained:

“Visa has been misusing its position and charging retailers excessive fees for a long time.”

Saw an Opportunity

It was under those circumstances that Morgan Creek Digital Founder Anthony Pompliano saw an opportunity and quickly Tweeted back suggesting the crypto alternative.

Several hours later Kroger’s Production manager Tweeted a response showing interest in taking the conversation. Further, he wrote:

“Hey, Pomp – I’m a Product Manager at Kroger Digital. Can you confirm that you’re the correct person to discuss this with? I would love to set up a conversation.”

Pomp responded saying:

“DM me. Let’s do it.”

Bitcoin Lightning to the Rescue

Smith’s is the second Kroger brand to abandon Visa credit cards following a similar decision by California-based Foods Co. Supermarket.

Should the deal between Pompliano and the Smith’s go through and the implementation of the Lightning Network Payment solution is implemented, that could lead to broader adoption across all the Kroger brands.

For their part, Visa is not about to give up and has promised to work out the problem, stating that they “have put forward a number of solutions to allow our cardholders to continue using their preferred Visa credit cards at Foods Co. and Smith’s without Kroger-imposed restrictions, and we continue to work toward a resolution.”

The Bitcoin Network is steadily making inroads in the crypto community, and it has continued to receive support from leading companies and individuals, giving it an edge as a preferred payment processor.

Among those who have received a payment in a transaction chain called the Lightning Torch are LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and the Digital team at Fidelity Investments who tweeted:   

“We and our research team at the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology have received the #LNTorch ⚡from @Wiz. Who should we pass it to?”

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