Canadian Pizza Magazine

New credit card rules a positive first step

By Canadian Pizza   


May 21, 2009, Toronto – Minister Jim Flaherty’s announcement
establishing the rules of play for credit cards in Canada is a step in the
right direction, says the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

While the announcement is focused on protection for cardholders,
the Flaherty recognized concerns about the interchange fees that merchants pay
as well. He said his government is closely following the committee hearings in
the House of Commons and will be able to act quickly on their recommendations.

“We are thrilled that the Minister recognizes there are two
types of credit card consumers: those who use cards to make payments and
those who accept payments by credit card,” says Justin Taylor, vice president
labour and taxation for the CRFA. “In our view, both groups deserve
government protection against unfair practices of credit card companies.”

The Senate recently concluded a study on credit cards and
related fees with a report expected shortly. Ongoing hearings by a joint
Industry and Finance Committee of the House of Commons have exposed the complex
and skyrocketing fees that restaurants are charged every time they accept
payment by credit cards.


“We don’t normally go looking for government regulation,”
says Taylor. “But what we have in Canada is a duopoly, where Visa and
MasterCard dominate the credit card industry. Combined with an absence of
government oversight, this has led to significant increases in fees and unfair
business practices by banks, credit card companies and payment processors.”

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