Application Deadline Extended
Undocumented and Simplified claims must be completed and submitted no later than December 30, 2022, at 11:59 pm PST.

Claim up to $5,000 in a recent class action settlement!

Has your business accepted Visa and/or Mastercard credit cards as payment at any point since March 23, 2001? You could be eligible to receive a portion of a multi-million dollar settlement in a class action lawsuit against Visa and Mastercard for restricting merchants’ ability to surcharge or refuse higher cost (“premium”) credit cards. Applications for rebates are available until December 30th, 2022, so make sure to apply fast!

We have also heard reports of third-party firms offering to handle applications for a fee. With no documentation required and our guidance, we’re confident that you can handle the application process without the help of a third-party firm, meaning you can keep 100% of your settlement.

 

What is the Credit Card Class Action Settlement and what does it mean to your business?

Join CFIB and the lawyers for the Credit Card Class Action lawsuit and learn more! Already a CFIB member? Please register here

Claim up to $5,000 in a recent class action settlement!

Has your business accepted Visa and/or Mastercard credit cards as payment at any point since March 23, 2001? You could be eligible to receive a portion of a multi-million dollar settlement in a class action lawsuit against Visa and Mastercard for restricting merchants’ ability to surcharge or refuse higher cost (“premium”) credit cards. Applications for rebates are available until December 30th, 2022, so make sure to apply fast!

We have also heard reports of third-party firms offering to handle applications for a fee. With no documentation required and our guidance, we’re confident that you can handle the application process without the help of a third-party firm, meaning you can keep 100% of your settlement.

 

What is the Credit Card Class Action Settlement and what does it meant to your business?

Join CFIB and the Credit Card Class Action Administrators and learn more! Already a CFIB member? Please register here



Did you know that your small business can now add a surcharge to Visa and Mastercard transactions? Learn more

 

What is the Credit Card Class Action Settlement and what does it meant to your business?

Join CFIB and the Credit Card Class Action Administrators and learn more! Already a CFIB member? Please register here

 

REGISTER NOW

Eligibility

Application deadline is December 30, 2022!

You’re eligible to receive a portion of the settlement if you:

•  Were a merchant in Canada at any point between March 23, 2001, and September 2, 2021,
• Accepted Visa and/or Mastercard credit cards as payment for goods and services,
•  Incurred merchant discount fees, including interchange fees.

How to Claim

As of May 30, 2022, you can submit a claim through the Credit Card Class Action website. What you will need to know: 

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Size of your business / annual revenues during the claim period (can be classified as a small, medium, or large business – see table below)
  • Attestation that you collected credit card payments at some point since March 23, 2001 – more information to come on details of attestation requirements
  • If your financial institution charges a fee for receiving a deposit, for how much, and if you would rather opt for a cheque that deducts $2 from your claim

Note: No documentation is required for merchants classified as “small businesses”.

Claim Here

Two women sitting at a computer reviewing information

Process

You will receive confirmation that your claim was submitted successfully. Your application will then be reviewed by the claims administrator and either approved or denied. Should more clarifications be needed on your application, please contact the claims administrator.

If you are approved, you can expect to receive your funds after all claims have been received at the end of 2022.  

If you are denied, you will receive a decision notice. No appeal process exists for small business claims. If you have any concerns, you can speak to the claims administrator.

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How Much You'll Receive

Merchant size Average annual revenue over the claim period Amount you can receive per year you incurred merchant discount fees
Small merchant Less than $5 million $30 / year (max $600)
Medium merchant Between $5 million to $20 million $250 / year (max $5,000)
Large merchant $20 million + $250 / year 

CFIB Takes On The Credit Card Industry

Credit cards may be handy for consumers – but they can be expensive for merchants like you! 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.

How CFIB is helping merchants like you:

With your support, we will continue to fight for:

  • Lower interchange fees
  • No swipe fees on GST/HST
  • More fairness for merchants on “chargebacks”
  • No fees on prepaid cards and refunds

Join Now

Smiling customer paying by credit card at the bakery

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.

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. 

Claims Administrator
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
Email: info@CreditCardSettlements.ca
Telephone: 1-877-283-6548
Fax: 1-866-262-0816

Class Counsel
For questions about the class action or the settlement:

CAMP FIORANTE MATTHEWS LLP
Attention: Sharon Wong
400 - 856 Homer Street
Vancouver BC V6B 2W5
Email: swong@cfmlawyers.ca
Telephone: 604-689-7555

BRANCH MACMASTER LLP
Attention: Luciana P. Brasil
1410 – 777 Hornby Street
Vancouver BC V6Z 1S4
Email: lbrasil@branmac.com
Telephone: 604-654-2999

CONSUMER LAW GROUP INC.
Attention : Jeff Orenstein
1030 rue Berri Suite 102
Montreal QC H2L 4C3
Email: jorenstein@clg.org
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 and Mastercard and the merchants. Should you operate in Quebec, you will still not be able to surcharge as the provincial Consumer Protection Act does not allow it.

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.