This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Skip to Content

Credit card fees cost the Federal government almost $13 million a year

OTTAWA – During a recent meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on National Finance, Senator Pierrette Ringuette asked representatives of Treasury Board Canada to supply information regarding the cost to the government, crown corporations and parks of credit card merchant fees charges on all transactions.


In a written response, Public Works and Government Services Canada provided the following information;


“For fiscal year 2009/10, the Receiver General for Canada paid $12,956,176 to cover credit card merchant fees for federal government departments that accept payment for goods and services by Visa, MasterCard and American Express. This figure does not include Crown Corporations, who do their own credit card procurement. Merchant acceptance fees for Parks Canada totaled $799,370.”


Following the revelation of the high costs of paying merchants fees, ranging from 2 to 3% of each transaction, Senator Ringuette released the following statement;


“Canadians are paying almost $13 million dollars a year, not including Crown Corporations, to giant corporations like VISA and MasterCard.  That is taxpayers’ money going directly into the pockets of corporations who are making record profits, instead of being used to fund programs and infrastructure that will help Canadians.


Australia capped merchant fees for municipal, provincial, and federal governments at 0.33% 7 years ago. Under that cap, the federal government and the Canadian taxpayer would have saved over $10 million in 2009/10 alone.


In addition, these costs are not borne by those who choose to use the cards, but by all of us through decreased government revenues.


It’s time that the government step up and ensure that the money provided by taxpayers to operate government programs beneficial to all Canadians goes to those programs and not into the very deep pockets of big business. My bill, S-201 will do that and I hope Senators and MPs from all parties will recognize the need to transparently and efficiently manage taxpayers money.”