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

Senator Pierrette Ringuette commends the Competition Bureau for taking action on the anti-competitive practices of VISA and Mastercard

OTTAWA – Today, Senator Pierrette Ringuette commends the Competition Bureau’s recent announcement that it has filed an application with the Competition Tribunal to put an end to the “restrictive and anti-competitive” practices of VISA and Mastercard.


As noted by the Competition Bureau, these practices “prohibit merchants from encouraging consumers to consider lower cost payment options like cash or debit, and prohibit merchants from applying a surcharge to a purchase on a high cost card. Further, once a merchant agrees to accept one of Visa or MasterCard's credit cards, that merchant must accept all credit cards offered by that company, including cards that impose significant costs on merchants, such as premium cards.”


Visa and Mastercard process over 90% of the credit card transactions in Canada, over $240 billion in purchases and an estimated $5 billion in hidden fees annually.


The fees paid by Canadian merchants exceed those in many other parts of the world, “ranging from 1.5% to 3% or more of each purchase, nearly twice as much as their counterparts in Europe, New Zealand, and Australia.”


The transaction fee for an Interac debit transaction, on the other hand, is only 12 cents, no matter the transaction amount. The Competition Bureau provides a good example of this contrast; “a 3 percent hidden credit card fee on a $400 set of snow tires is $12, but if a debit card is used for the same purchase, the fee is 12 cents.”


Senator Ringuette has been arguing on behalf of consumers and merchants for some time that Canada has some of the highest credit card fees in the world saying that “We should join Europe, New Zealand, and Australia and legislate rules for reasonable fees on credit cards.”


“I am extremely pleased by this announcement,” said Senator Ringuette “I have been pushing for the Competition Bureau to address these practices for a long time a long, long time. Today is a hard fought victory for Canadian consumers and small business.”



The Completion Bureau press release and fact sheet can be viewed at: