Crypto big hitter pitches Lightning Network to Kroger
Kroger needs the Lightning Network in its life, according to Anthony Pompliano, Founder and Partner at Morgan Creek Digital
The US grocery giant has had it up to here with Visa’s excessive transaction fees. Its Smith’s Food & Drug Stores will join Foods Co. Supermarkets brand in not accepting Visa credit cards as a form of payment, beginning 3rd April. That means the boycott now extends to 142 supermarket and 108 fuel centre locations across seven US states.
"Visa has been misusing its position and charging retailers excessive fees for a long time," comments Mike Schlotman, Kroger's Executive Vice President and CFO. "They conceal from customers what Visa and its banks charge retailers to accept Visa credit cards. At Smith's, Visa's credit card fees are higher than any other credit card brand that we accept. Visa's excessive fees and unfairness cannot continue to go unchecked.”
While no other brands are presently affected by this announcement, Kroger says that it “continues to explore options to reduce the cost of accepting credit cards in order to keep prices low for customers”.
Kroger’s big stand has not gone unnoticed in the crypto space, with Pompliano suggesting on Twitter that the retailer get hooked up with the Lightning Network, Bitcoin's second layer payment protocol.
He followed this up with: ‘Just finished up first call with someone on Kroger Digital team. World class, forward thinking crew. Looks like things are progressing. Stay tuned.”
A Visa spokesperson told RTIH: “Cardholders are our first priority. Our goal is to ensure that every cardholder can use their Visa card wherever they wish to shop. When consumer choice is limited nobody wins. The Visa network delivers significant value for merchants including access to more customers, increased sales, security and fraud protection, a quick and convenient checkout experience, and ongoing innovation and implementation of the latest technologies. Kroger enjoys all of these benefits, and there is a cost for these services, like any other.
It is unfair and disappointing that Kroger is putting shoppers in the middle of a business dispute. We 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. Visa debit and prepaid cards continue to be accepted across all Kroger stores, including Foods Co. and Smith’s.”