The Minister of State for Finance, Ted Menzies, has released a consultation document designed to update the Code of Conduct to incorporate mobile payments. The draft Code is attached.

Background:

Consumers are increasingly using smart phones and other mobile devices. RCC will continue to work to ensure that the Code of Conduct is expanded to cover mobile payments.

Current Status:

The proposed amendments address key issues that RCC has been raising with the government, including:

  • Recognizing consumers must have the ability to set default option for mobile payments.
  • Ability of merchants to choose not to accept all payment applications included on mobile applications (i.e. ensuring that a merchant can choose to accept only credit or debit payments from a network, without having to accept both).
  • Co-badging protection included in the current Code will be extended to mobile applications, which will ensure debit payment options are represented uniquely within mobile devices. (i.e. Credit and Debit Applications can be stored on the same mobile device, provided that they are clearly separate payment applications).

RCC has also recently completed a member survey that gathered vast amounts of member feedback on the effectiveness of the current Code provisions. Members continue to be frustrated with the practices of service providers. RCC will also be working with the federal government to address these concerns and amend the Code to address the following sales techniques:

  • Business practices that may be used to lock a merchant into an agreement (such as with a third party terminal rental agreement) if the merchant would like to exercise their rights to get out of a merchant agreement because of a fee increase or change made by the processor.
  • Misleading quotes for merchant services that do not outline the full fees associated with processing payments.
  • Increased clarity on statements and contracts to ensure that merchants know what fees they are being charged, and removing negative opt-outs for new payment methods.
  • Continuing to ensure increased transparency and disclosure, such as with clear written notice 90 days prior to any changes, with a sufficient level of detail that is easy to understand.

NEXT STEPS:

RCC will be meeting with the Minister of Finance as well as other senior officials at Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. RCC will continue to be vigilant in protecting merchants from excessive fees and misrepresentations from service providers. We will work with the government to finalize the proposal to update and modernize the Code.

For further information, please contact RCC’s Sr. VP, Dave Wilkes at [email protected] or (416) 922-6678, ext. 251.