Mobile payments shouldn’t mean extra fees

Pretty soon, Canadians will be able to purchase items using their smartphones. The major banks are set to team up with the telecommunications companies to allow for credit card and debit card information to be stored digitally on a customer’s cell phone.

If you’ve ever paid for gas right at the pump with your credit card, you already have a good idea of how the new touch-and-go technology works. While CFIB is in favour of giving customers and businesses more options, the addition of new payment methods shouldn’t be used as an excuse for a fee grab. Small business owners across Canada have good reasons to be concerned.

Many of our members know that the introduction of premium credit cards was a mess. Without any consultation, small businesses were hit with massive new fees (and a lot of confusion) for accepting the cards.  

So far, the industry is reaching out to small business, and there are new guidelines for mobile payments. Even better, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has indicated he will soon implement a payments advisory committee, and he’s considering changes to the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry (which we helped to draft) to address mobile issues.

CFIB continues to push for fairness on the premium credit card issue, and we’ll be watching closely to fight any attempt by card processors, banks, credit card companies and any other players to add yet another set of fees to process digital transactions.