CFIB calls for enhanced credit/debit card code

By Staff | July 17, 2012 | Last updated on July 17, 2012
1 min read

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is asking Finance Minister Flaherty to strengthen the government’s Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada.

The group’s request follows recent news that mobile payment options are rapidly expanding and growing in popularity. It also comes on the heels of a $7.25 billion U.S. settlement with Visa and MasterCard, which will allow U.S. merchants to surcharge for accepting credit cards.

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“We believe the best course of action is to allow for limited surcharges and the right to refuse certain high-cost cards in the Code itself,” says Dan Kelly, CFIB’s new president and CEO.

He adds, “We don’t expect many small firms will ultimately use these powers, but the fact they exist would help Canadian merchants push back against the estimated $5 billion they pay each year in transaction fees.”

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In addition to the right to refuse high-cost cards or add limited surcharges, CFIB recommends:

  • adding new provisions to address rapidly growing mobile payment options;
  • strengthening provisions related to card processor practices as some players are using loopholes to avoid the merchant protections of the Code;
  • and developing more effective dispute resolution processes.

The group calls for a similar measure in its original draft of the Code. Canada’s Competition Tribunal is expected to rule on similar provisions in the months ahead.

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The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.