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Quotes from Stakeholders on Payment Systems

Retail Council of Canada

“Canadians pay among the highest credit card fees in the world.  Retailers and other business are not opposed to paying fees, as long as they correspond to the actual cost of the service that is rendered.  Big Credit Card companies and the banks issuing their cards are out of control and their practices need to be regulated.”

Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada


Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)

 “Rapidly rising credit card merchant fees are taking a huge toll on Canada’s small business community at a challenging time for the economy. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business opposes the unfair way these fees are levied and is concerned that this fee formula may soon be extended to Canada’s low-cost debit card environment.  As smaller firms have little choice but to accept credit and debit cards as methods of payment, Canada’s entrepreneurs need better transparency and oversight in how merchant fees are administered.”

Catherine Swift, President of CFIB


Edmundston Region Chamber of Commerce

 “It’s clear that any increase in merchant fees for credit or debit card purchases will squeeze businesses’ profit margins. In these uncertain economic times, it’s an additional financial burden that SMEs absolutely don’t need, especially since the reason for the increases aren’t clearly justified.”

Lise Couturier, President, Edmundston Region Chamber of Commerce, New Brunswick:


Fredericton Chamber of Commerce

“Companies rely everyday on their capacity to facilitate transactions with their customers. Credit Card companies are applying hidden fees for no additional benefit to companies and creating significant hardship for small and medium sized business in our community.  Interac is a critical service for retailers and other firms who conduct frequent financial transactions with their customers. Privatizing Interac will likely result in higher fees and potentially reduced reliability in the marketplace.”

Anthony Knight, Chief Executive Officer, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce


Option consommateurs

It is important to point out that, in the debate on the current financial crisis, no one is talking about the social responsibility of moneylenders, given the debt crisis in Canada.  The social responsibility of moneylenders is reflected by the changes to minimum payments, the change in credit card interest rates against the drop in the Bank of Canada interest rates, the impact of multiple flat fees plus the interest rate, credit marketing and solicitation, the ratios used to determine access to credit, etc. Option consommateurs wants more research to be done on these areas, especially on what is done in other jurisdictions, so as to protect the rights and interests of Canadian consumers.

Anu Bose, Director, Option consommateurs (Ottawa office)


Canadian Federation of Students

“The skyrocketing cost of university of college and inadequate financial aid combine to make students vulnerable to predatory credit card marketing.”

Katherine Giroux-Bougard, National Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students


Insurance Brokers Association of Canada

“At the end of the day, an increase to businesses in the cost of doing business is an increase in the price consumers pay for goods and services. We hope the government seriously considers these changes and how they would impact a slowing economy.”

Mr. Dan Danyluk, CEO, Insurance Brokers Association of Canada


Hotel Association of Canada

“Hotels across Canada are under great pressure already due to less demand particularly from visitors from the United States and increased costs. New interchange rates will only exacerbate an already difficult and challenging time for hotels.  Adding insult to injury is the fact there is no justification for these increased rates.”

Tony Pollard, President, Hotel Association of Canada


Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

“For credit card purchases, Canadian restaurant operators have seen their costs increase significantly in recent years, in a non-transparent and unpredictable way.  The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) is calling on the Government of Canada to take action and provide greater oversight over credit card fees to ensure that they are reasonable, transparent, and predictable for both cardholders and merchants.”

Justin Taylor, Vice President, Labour and Taxation, Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association


Robert Simmonds Inc.

“As an independent retailer we were blindsided by the new fee structure on the premium cards as well as the number of cards released.  We do not have the bargaining power of the larger retailers and are at the mercy of the card companies and service providers.

The increase in fees is already affecting 30 percent of transactions and I can only see that rising. The extra half to one percent will directly affect my bottom line.

I am also afraid that the card companies will institute a percentage for debit card transactions as well. The consumer is unaware of these costs. We as retailers do not know which cards carry higher processing fees. There seems to be no system to help independents track and avoid these increased costs.”

Paul Simmonds, Owner, Robert Simmonds Inc.