Credit card code of conduct
The Credit Card Code of Conduct, created in 2010, was a momentous occasion for merchants in Canada. Along with outlining the expectations and limitations of merchant services providers, such as CHASE Paymentech, Moneris, and Global Payments, it solidified your rights.
Since its initiation, CFIB has successfully lobbied to have more rights for you added to the Code:
- 2013: 90-day penalty-free exit from any contract, including any related contract signed on or after November 12, 2013, with notice of increased fees or rates
- 2015: Any interchange rate reduction promises by card brands apply; new mobile and contactless contracts come under the Code; a merchant can give a 90-day notice of non-renewal at any time for a contract whose term ends on or after April 13, 2015.
- 2016: For contracts ending after February 12, 2016, automatic renewals roll over only at 6-month intervals.
- Soon to come: Dispute resolution process implemented through the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
Is your provider not respecting the Code?
Most of the time, referencing the original contract will tell you what your rights and guidelines are.
1. Credit card company
Your first step is a call to the company with which you signed your merchant services contract. State your problem. Most issues can be resolved at this level. Take note of the name of the representative you spoke with as well as the reference call number, if applicable. If, by chance the situation is not resolved as expected, this information will be useful for your next steps.
2. Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)
If you believe your credit card company has violated the Code of Conduct, you can make a complaint to the Federal Consumer Agency of Canada (1-866-461-3222). However, to access the formal complaint form, visit the FCAC web site where you can also find out about its role in monitoring the credit and debit card industry in Canada.
3. Contact our Counsellors
CFIB’s Counsellors may have other advice and tips that can help you with your situation. Before calling, check your contract to see if your services provider is also your terminal provider. When trying to exit a contract, most people do not realize that they in fact have two separate contracts (unless you are with CHASE). If you believe that you were fraudulently signed to the contract, our Counselors have more agencies where you can file a complaint.