Choosing a credit card provider


While there are several reputable processors in the market, there are also lots of bad players. CFIB members can receive industry-best rates through CHASE - and there's no contract, no cancellation fees, and CFIB support with any issues they might face.

Here's what you should ask when choosing a provider:

  • What are the terms of the contract?
  • How long does it last?
  • Is there a penalty clause that could cost me dearly if I go to another company over the next few years?
  • Are the fees and rates locked-in for the term of the contract? 
  • Who will service my contract and what track record do they have? (Some companies promise excellent service, but are not equipped to deliver.)

And remember: don’t sign anything until you know the answers and feel comfortable signing your name. When in doubt, call CFIB’s Counsellors.

Independent Sales Organizations (ISO’s) aka “Resellers”

One of the most common calls we get from owners like you is in regards to ISO’s. These are companies hired by merchant services providers to sell their product. They do not actually provide the service or the terminals; rather, they are hired head-hunters. You can tell they are an ISO, because they will say/do anything to get you into contract, and they are usually persistent and high-pressure. Lines they use include, "We are a company working for the banks to see that you receive your 30% discount on credit card fees...", or, "We are working on behalf of the banks / CFIB / Chase / VISA / MasterCard to lower your credit card fees. If you send us your statements, we'll find savings..."

Here are some tips to deal with these companies:

  • Don't provide your statements. Those are confidential documents. You should not have to provide these to understand their offering.
  • Watch closely for hidden fees and exit penalties. You want to understand the total cost of the contract. Ask to view a copy of the contract and a completed ‘Schedule A' - this will show all the fees you will have to pay. Do not sign anything until you are satisfied with the fees you will pay.
  • Ask if their company has signed the Code of Conduct.

To indicate you are not interested and your "no" is not being respected, file a complaint with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.