Five years of rate stability just as important as modest reductions
Toronto, September 14, 2016 – Canada’s small business community is pleased to see preliminary evidence that credit card fee reductions introduced by the big two credit card providers in 2015 are being reflected in the “swipe fees” charged to merchants. CFIB appreciates the efforts made by Visa and MasterCard in working with the small business community and the federal government towards greater fairness in the payments industry. We are also pleased with the commitment by the Minister of Finance to conduct an assessment and we look forward to working with them on continuing to make improvements to the credit card industry.
It’s not just the cut, it’s the freeze
“While reductions for merchants have been modest, the undertakings by Visa and MasterCard are important – particularly as the commitment is to maintain rate stability for a five year period,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “This is a significant departure from several years of credit card processing fee hikes endured by merchants and their customers since 2007. With a myriad of new costs hitting small business owners every day, there is certainly comfort in knowing that credit card fees will be stable for the foreseeable future.”
Credit card fees add $5-7 billion per year to the price of goods and services in Canada and are currently frozen until 2019, thanks in large part to years of CFIB lobbying of governments, credit card brands, banks and processors. CFIB has been a leading force bringing about significant changes to the payments industry, including the creation of a credit-debit code of conduct in 2010.
“While we are pleased with the progress to date, CFIB is calling on the industry to take additional steps to reduce fees for small business, particularly in light of the significantly lower fees available to businesses in Europe, Australia and other parts of the world,” Kelly added. “We also welcome the additional assessment planned by the Minister of Finance to ensure adequate competition and transparency.”
In order to ensure rate reductions are passed onto merchants, CFIB continues to offer its members some of the best rates around on credit and debit card processing through its partnership with Chase Paymentech.
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.