Credit card fees too high
Despite the backroom deal between the former Conservative government and VISA and MasterCard, acceptance fees in Canada still remain at unacceptable levels.
Last week, Walmart announced that they will no longer accept VISA at their stores in Canada because the acceptance fees are just too high.
VISA responded by saying they offered WalMart the best deal they could, which raises the question, if a big multinational corporation cannot negotiate low enough fees, how is this affecting Canada’s small businesses.
Canada’s fees remain some of the highest in the world, and nowhere near the levels of countries that have placed limits, such as Australia did 15 years ago and the European Union did two years ago.
I plan on, once again, tabling legislation this fall to set limits on these fees.
Despite the Code of Conduct and the deal with the credit card companies, Canada’s fees remain far too high.
Australia has set limits at 0.5% and the European union limits are set at 0.3%. These are reasonable limits and, despite the protestation of VISA and MasterCard, they are still doing business in those countries and people still have access to credit cards and loyalty programs.
There is constant evidence that these fees are a problem, but there has been very little action of substance, so I will once again table legislation this fall to limit fees.
My last bill, S-202, was killed in the Senate Standing Committee on Banking Trade and Commerce by a majority of Tory senators who are out of touch with the difficulties facing our small businesses in dealing with VISA and MasterCard.
I hope this time, I can count on my colleagues and the Liberal government to support reasonable limits.
Senator Pierrette Ringuette