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Reducing credit card fees good first step: Restaurants Canada


November 4, 2014
By Canadian Pizza

Nov. 4, 2014, Toronto – Restaurants Canada is optimistic about a recently announced reduction in credit card interchange fees but warns more work needs to be done.

Nov. 4, 2014, Toronto – Restaurants Canada is optimistic about a recently announced reduction in credit card interchange fees but warns more work needs to be done.

“This
voluntary move to lower rates is a positive step for restaurateurs who
pay among the highest credit card transaction fees in the world,” said
Garth Whyte, president and CEO of Restaurants Canada, in a news release. “However, the
devil is in the details. We will carefully monitor how fees are
‘averaged’ and the impact on our members. Ultimately, it should be a win
for consumers if the reductions are significant enough to pass on.”

“Restaurants
Canada has long decried the proliferation of premium credit cards and
their impact on merchant fees,” said Whyte. “Eighty per cent of our
members have blamed credit card fees for significantly impacting their
bottom line. In some cases, the card issuer makes as much profit on a
meal as the restaurateur.”

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While the association said it appreciates the work of finance minister Joe Oliver and his
predecessor, the late Jim Flaherty, in bringing about this voluntary
accord, it added that more work needs to be done to further reduce credit
card fees.

“As
it stands, card issuers collect $40 million annually in merchant fees
on the sales tax portion of a restaurant bill,” he said. “Credit card
companies should not be profiting from taxes collected for government.”