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10% reduction in credit cards fees insignificant when they have gone up over 25% in under 2 years

For Immediate Release


November 4th, 2014


10% reduction in credit cards fees insignificant when they have gone up over 25% in under 2 years


Statement by Senator Pierrette Ringuette on announcement of voluntary agreement with VISA and MasterCard to lower credit card acceptance fees;

Today’s announcement shows once again this government is unwilling to take any real action on their repeated promises to lower excessive credit card acceptance fees that costs Canadian business and consumers over $5 billion a year.

The negotiated agreement to lower fees by a paltry 10% is practically meaningless; VISA and MasterCard have already increased their fees by over 25% in the past 2 years and Canada will continue to have some of the highest fees in the world. Visa and MasterCard are laughing all the way to bank.

While the Conservative government is patting itself on the back for another empty action, Canadian merchants are on life-support with ever thinning margins and some of the highest fees in the world.

Competition Tribunal said that regulatory action is needed and countries around the world have come to the same conclusion, the solution to excessive merchant fees is to legislate and limit them to a reasonable amount.

The Conservatives like to talk about improving the economy and helping Canadian families. Setting a reasonable limit on acceptance fees, such as 0.5% as in Australia and 0.3% as in Europe, would mean lower prices for consumers and family budgets will go farther. With lower fees, small and medium sized merchants could invest in their business and hire more Canadians who are looking for work, further helping families and the economy.

Instead, the government has once again shown that they are more concerned about protecting the record profits of banks and credit card companies over the needs of hard-working Canadians.

The government is not providing real leadership on this issue, they are taking baby –steps instead of real actions.

Why are they not willing to put Canadians on an equal footing as our trading partners in Europe by limiting fees as they did?

The government can support my bill, S-202, or legislate their own, but the time for meaningless voluntary codes of conduct and agreements is over, something needs to be done.


For more information:


Tim Rosenburgh

Office of Senator Pierrette Ringuette

(613) 943-2248