Retail Council of Canada says it has been the main advocate for a regulated solution to the credit card fee problem and welcomes this opportunity to shine a light on the multi-billion dollar costs imposed on all Canadians, including merchants, by Visa and MasterCard.
Simply put, credit card interchange fees are far too high, with the credit card duopoly charging merchants in Canada – and ultimately Canadian consumers – five times what they charge in other markets for the same services.
Retail Council of Canada has been the driving force and the most vocal advocate for regulating a cap on merchant credit card fees. Our retail members, from small independent main street merchants to mid-large global multinationals, pay fees that are punishing to their business and ultimately are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.
As to the networks’ reports on their level of compliance with their “voluntary agreement” (MasterCard 1.5187%, Visa 1.5183%), Retail Council of Canada does not think that the variance of a few basis points from the Networks’ existing cap of 1.50% is particularly important. “Nobody gets a medal for clearing a two-foot bar,” said Diane J. Brisebois, President & CEO of the Retail Council of Canada.
“The real issue is an absence of both competition and regulation that has allowed the credit card networks to overcharge merchants in Canada with fees five times what they should be,” Ms. Brisebois added.
Retail is Canada’s largest employer with over 2 million Canadians working in our industry. In 2015, the sector generated payroll over $59 billion and $340 billion in sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline). Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members’ represent more than two-thirds of retail sales in the country.
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