Kroger, an Ohio based retail giant, has shown interest in the Lightning Network after the company decided to part ways with Visa. The retail company was established in 1883 and has for years been accepting Visa credit cards as its chosen payment method across its chain of Smith’s food and drug stores.
After the company’s intention was made public, Anthony Pompliano posted a tweet in which he offered to link up the company with Bitcoin’s Lightening Network across its stores.
Visa Rejected Due to High Fees
All this came to a head last week ending when retail giant announced that Visa credit cards would no longer be accepted by the company, this due to the fact that the card company charges very high fees. Smith’s chain is functional in seven states in the US, with its food and drug stores, numbering 134, scattered across the states and more than 20,000 employees in its payroll.
Mike Schlotman, Kroger’s CFO, stated that Smith’s stores have repeatedly been charged high by Visa for card fees than any other brand of credit card. In his words: “Visa has been misusing its position and charging retailers excessive fees for a long time.”
Visa is not innocent of Mike’s claim; in fact, the card company raised the fees for card payment processing by banks on behalf of merchants in April.
Therefore it is not surprising that an alternative has been sought by Kroger to save cost. This was bound to happen sooner or later, and what better alternative is there than cryptocurrency? Little wonder Pompliano wasted no time to make his offer to the company. Below is his tweet:
“Grocery store @kroger is stopping [the] acceptance of @Visa in over 250 stores because of network fees. Who knows someone on the leadership team there? The Morgan Creek Digital team will fly to meet them and get them hooked up with the Lightning Network nationwide.”
A Partnership Underway?
The tweet soon got a response from one of Kroger Digital’s product managers, and it reads, “Hey Pomp – I’m a Product Manager at Kroger Digital. Can confirm that Yael is the correct person to discuss this with. I would love to set up a conversation.” Pomp immediately sent back a reply saying “DM me. Let’s do it”.
It wasn’t long before the Ripple team signified interest as well and was quick to question the readiness of the Lightning Network, all the while presenting XRP as a much better choice. Another interesting thing concerning the matter is that someone suggested that Smith’s gift card be sold on BitRefill, which is almost certain to bring about a zero effort stop-gap solution.