Well, that didn’t take long… Just a week or so after the Visa and MasterCard agreed to a settlement over their refusal to let merchants charge extra for using a credit card, Kroger (the nation’s largest grocery chain) is considering offering discounts to shoppers who opt to pay cash instead of using a credit card.
The stakes are quite high, with Kroger paying “hundreds of millions of dollars” for credit card processing each year. But at the same time, differentiating between payment types (even if they pitch it as a cash discount vs. a credit card surcharge) could turn customers off.
Interestingly, according to MSN/Money, several companies have already stated that will not be charging more for credit card usage. These include LL Bean and Darden Restaurants (parent company of Olive Garden and Red Lobster). At the same time, Target, Walmart, and the National Association of Convenience Stores have worked to scuttle the deal, which has still not received final approval.
And, of course, this is all a non-issue in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas, where state laws prohibit the surcharges or checkout fees.