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Credit card transaction costs on the rise for Winnipeg; Brandon sees reduction

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Winnipeg, December 14, 2016 – New research by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) shows that credit card transaction costs for the City of Winnipeg increased 41 per cent from 2010-2015, while the City of Brandon reduced these costs by 21 per cent over the same time period.

According to data gathered through Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requests, from 2010-2015, the City of Winnipeg paid $4,012,605 cumulatively to process credit card transactions. In 2015, the City of Winnipeg paid $730,099, an increase of 41 per cent from 2010. Conversely, from 2010-2015, the City of Brandon paid $175,340 cumulatively to process credit card transactions. The City of Brandon paid $25,703 in 2015, a decrease of 21 per cent from 2010.

Table 1:

 

Credit Card Transaction Fees paid by City of Brandon & City of Winnipeg

table

Source: CFIB calculations, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requests to municipal governments.

 

“While municipalities provide residents and local businesses the convenience of using credit cards to pay for services, they also need to be aware of the costs and look for ways to control and reduce those expenses,” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. “We’re pleased that Winnipeg and Brandon have already taken meaningful first steps to reduce the cost of credit card fees by tendering out the processing service. In fact, this is one reason why Brandon has been able to reduce their costs.”

Most entrepreneurs are fully aware of the cost of credit cards and take action to minimize them for their own business. In fact, those rising costs led CFIB to negotiate and offer discounted rates to its 109,000 small business members across Canada. A similar opportunity exists for municipal governments to work together to also reduce the rising cost of credit card processing.

To ensure all municipalities reduce the costs of credit card transaction fees, CFIB recommends the following:

  • Educate taxpayers about the impact of credit card fees on municipal operating costs and encourage debit payments at point of sale;
  • Track and regularly report data on the number of transactions, transaction fees, rates and type of credit card used (i.e. premium versus regular);
  • Work with other municipalities to negotiate a lower group processing rate with credit card processing companies; and
  • For municipalities which do not currently do so, tender the service provision out to credit card processing companies to obtain the lowest offered rates.

To arrange an interview with Jonathan Alward, please call 1 888-234-2232, 204-982-0817 or email [email protected]. You can also follow CFIB Manitoba on Twitter @cfibMB.

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members (4,800 in Manitoba) across every sector and region.