Claim up to $5,000 in a recent class action settlement!
Update on Credit Card Class Action Settlement Claims
Undocumented Claims: Funds on the way!
Electronic transfers: Week of May 21-26, 2023
Cheques issued: May 31-June 2, 2023
Simplified & Documented Claims: Under Review
Lowering Credit Card Costs for Small Business
CFIB takes on the credit card industry
What is the Credit Card Class Action Settlement and what does it meant to your business?
Credit Cards and Small Business: What You need To Know or: Popular Topics
Find out more about what CFIB has been doing to assist small business to level the playing field with the credit card industry:
How Much You'll Receive
Our fight over the years
Since 2008, CFIB has been negotiating with government and the credit card industry to level the playing field and lower processing fees for your business.
Merchant Advice for Your Small Business:
How CFIB is Helping Merchants Like You:
Tools & Resources
CFIB has created resources and posters to help raise awareness on the costs of accepting credit cards.
Consider Paying by Cash or Debit - Portrait Poster
Consider Paying by Cash or Debit - Landscape Poster
Credit Card FAQ
When will I receive my Credit Card Class Action Settlement / Claim money?
- Electronic transfers of funds will start to be issued during the week of May 21-26, 2023
- Cheques will be issued and then mailed out approximately between May 31-June 2, 2023
Simplified & Documented claims:
The Claims Administrator is currently reviewing claims. You will need to wait until they are done their initial review to ensure that the amounts allocated to the different groups (small, medium and large merchants) are appropriate before the claims administrator can start paying out the claims.
What is a chargeback?
A chargeback is the reversal of a sale transaction that arises from a processing technicality, a customer dispute or fraudulent activity. Most chargebacks are violations of the rules and regulations established by a payment brand, such as Visa®, MasterCard® or debit network. Chargebacks are something every business wants to avoid, as they can result in lost revenue.
What are payment card networks?
American Express Canada Discover, The Exchange, Interac, Mastercard Canada, Visa Canada and UnionPay make up the seven major operators of payment card networks in Canada. To participate in these networks, merchants need to establish a contract with a payment service provider, such as an acquirer which provides them with access to the payment card network.
What is an acquirer?
An acquirer is an entity that enables merchants to accept payments by credit or debit card, by providing merchants with access to one or more payment card networks for the transmission or processing of payments.
What is surcharging?
A payment card surcharge is an additional fee that a merchant can choose to charge a consumer’s bill when they pay with a credit card at the point of sale. Find out more here.
What is the Credit Card Code of conduct?
Thanks in large part to our work on your behalf, Canada implemented a Code of Conduct for the payment card industry in 2010 and updated it in 2015. This code is a set of ten policy statements, which, for the first time ever, provided merchants with some power in their relationship with the credit card industry.
CFIB and its members have used the Code to resolve issues on exit penalties for fee changes in processing agreements, debit cards for e-commerce, and better disclosure in contracts and statements.
We work closely with the government and agencies like the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) to ensure the Code of Conduct achieves its main objective, which is to protect consumers and merchants.
FAQ - How do I claim my money?
What is the deadline to submit a claim to the settlement?
Merchants will have until December 30th, 2022 to submit a claim through the Online Claim Portal or postmarked mail.
After many merchants reached out to the lawyers of the class action lawsuit due to the publicity of surcharging, this deadline was extended from September 30, 2022.
You cannot submit a claim after the deadline. Any questions or concerns about the deadline can be directed to the Claims Administrator and/or the lawyers.
The Credit Card Class Action Lawsuit Claim deadlines were extended once to Dec 30, 2022, will they be extended again?
While it is possible, the Class Action lawyers have told us there are no plans to extend the deadline again. They recommend submitting your claim sooner rather than later. Any concerns or complaints should be sent to the Class Action lawyers.
When can I expect to receive my claim payout?
After the claim portal closes on December 30, 2022, the administrators will evaluate the number of claims before paying out to claimants.
My business is now closed, am I still eligible?
Yes, if you collected credit card payments between March 23, 2001, and September 2, 2021, you will be eligible to claim money from the settlement.
What is the cost of submitting a claim to the settlement? Do I need a third-party provider?
There is no cost to submitting a claim to the settlement. The process is simple and requires no documentation for small businesses. Some third-party providers may offer to submit your claim on your behalf for a fee.
Can I appeal if my claim is rejected?
No, undocumented claims cannot be appealed. An appeal process only exists for medium and large businesses who decide to submit a documented claim. These must be sent to an arbitrator within 30 days of a Decision Notice and require a $150 filing fee.
How do I report the settlement money in my taxes?
According to the Canada Revenue Agency, this settlement money should be treated as income and is subject to tax.
Who do I contact for issues or complaints with my claim?
Contact the Claims Administrator or lawyers for any questions or assistance needed at no cost.
For questions about the claims process or this website:
Epiq Class Action Services Canada Inc.
Attention: Canadian Credit Cards Class Actions P.O. Box 507 STN B
Ottawa ON K1P 5P6
For questions about the class action or the settlement:
CAMP FIORANTE MATTHEWS LLP
Attention: Sharon Wong
400 - 856 Homer Street
Vancouver BC V6B 2W5
BRANCH MACMASTER LLP
Attention: Luciana P. Brasil
1410 – 777 Hornby Street
Vancouver BC V6Z 1S4
CONSUMER LAW GROUP INC.
Attention : Jeff Orenstein
1030 rue Berri Suite 102
Montreal QC H2L 4C3
Telephone: 1-888-909-7863 x2
You can also reach the lawyers by email at lawyer@CreditCardSettlements.ca.
How can I learn more about the lawsuit?
The Credit Card Class Actions Settlements have a website with more information.
FAQ - What is Surcharging and how do I start?
How does the class action settlement tie into surcharging?
In the settlement of the lawsuit, Visa and Mastercard agreed to allow merchants to pass on their added fees to customers. This option became available October 6, 2022. Learn more
This changes the contract rules between Visa, Mastercard and the merchants. Should you operate in Quebec, you will still not be able to surcharge consumers as the provincial Consumer Protection Act does not allow it. However, surcharging other businesses in Quebec is permitted.
What is surcharging?
A credit card surcharge is an additional fee that a merchant can choose to charge a consumer’s bill when they pay with a credit card at the point of sale.
Can I charge a fee on debit payments?
Yes. The ability to add a fee to debit card transactions has been and continues to be available to merchants.
If your business operates in Quebec, this will not be available to you, as the provincial Consumer Protection Act does not allow it.
Is a surcharge the same as a convenience fee?
No, a surcharge is different from a convenience fee.
A surcharge is any fee added to a transaction for using a credit card.
A convenience fee is a fee that merchants may impose on all transactions no matter the method of payment. These can include debit card transactions.
If a merchant is eligible to surcharge and impose a convenience fee, they cannot add both on the same transaction.
Can I surcharge my clients today?
Yes, as of October 6, 2022. Visa and Mastercard have each opened a registration process for Merchants to identify their intent to surcharge and agree to disclosure agreements (such as a minimum of 30 days’ notice to clients) before starting to surcharge customers. Learn more about surcharging here.
If your business operates in Quebec, surcharging will not be available to you, as the provincial Consumer Protection Act does not allow it.
Which credit cards will I be able to surcharge and by how much?
Merchants can pick and choose which credit card brands or products they would like to surcharge to a maximum of 2.4%. It will be your decision. You may decide to only surcharge premium cards that charge your business higher fees. The way you choose to surcharge may lower your surcharging maximum.
Brand-level surcharges will be capped at the lesser of the merchant’s average effective merchant discount rate paid to the acquirer for Credit Card acceptance or the 2.4% cap.
Product-level surcharges will be capped at the lesser of the merchant’s cost to accept that particular credit card product or the 2.4% cap.
Can I surcharge in person, over the phone and for online transactions?
Merchants can choose any or all environments in which they surcharge clients. For example, a merchant can choose to only surcharge on online purchases.
Can I decide to surcharge discounted or sale items only?
No, surcharges should be specific to the client’s choice to pay for their transaction by credit card.
Should I register to surcharge as soon as it becomes available?
Registering for surcharging will continue to be available for merchants moving forward. Should you wish to surcharge as soon as possible, please know that a 30-day customer notice period must pass before you can surcharge customers.
Do I charge sales tax on the surcharge?
We are awaiting information on this. We have heard the disclosure could be as simple as a line item after the subtotal with a description indicating the amount is a surcharge.
Who do I contact for technical issues with registering to surcharge?
Each credit card network has set up its own registration system to monitor who will begin surcharging. Please contact the credit card network and/or acquirer with whom you are registered. This will depend on the rules of your surcharging agreement.
What is the deadline to register?
There is no deadline to register, however, before implementation, there is a 30-day customer notice requirement.
On a chargeback, do surcharge fees return to the customer?
On a chargeback, the purchase amount plus the surcharge should be credited to the cardholder. On a partial chargeback, the corresponding percentage of the surcharge should be returned.
What if my business doesn’t accept cash or debit?
Businesses can decide which legal tender(s) to accept. Should a business only accept credit cards, they can still choose to surcharge credit card transactions; however, the customer must have the option to cancel their purchase if they do not want to pay the surcharge.