(TORONTO) - Retail Council of Canada concurs with The Competition Tribunal’s finding that current rules imposed on merchants by Visa and MasterCard have an adverse effect on competition. Although disappointed the Tribunal failed to strike down the restrictive and anti-competitive rules RCC agrees the problem is best addressed by regulation.
“Since the Stop Sticking It to Us Coalition was launched in September, 2008, RCC has been a strong and consistent voice in calling for regulation to address the problems identified by the Tribunal,” says David Wilkes, Senior Vice President, Government Relations and Grocery at RCC. “Despite today's ruling, the fact remains -- Canadians are paying more than they should be at the register because of these high fees. Totalling more than $6 billion annually, these fees have a negative effect on merchants and consumers alike.”
By way of example, a $400 purchase on a credit card carrying a fee of 3% costs the merchant $12 for the transaction, an amount 100 times greater than the 12-cent fee that would have applied had the transaction been completed with an Interac debit card.
Worldwide, policymakers are moving to cap exorbitant credit card acceptance fees. Australia and New Zealand have had credit card fee caps for several years and the European Union announced fee caps earlier this month. In the United States, legislators have also moved to contain debit card fees.
“We believe that it is time for regulations to do what cannot be addressed by either the market or voluntary guidelines,” added Wilkes. RCC looks forward to working with Canada’s Minister of Finance to review the state of the payments system, to address the card networks’ anti-competitive practices.
Retail Council of Canada (www.retailcouncil.org) is the Voice of Retail. Founded in 1963, RCC is a not-for-profit association which represents more than 45,000 stores of all retail formats, including department, grocery, independent merchants, regional and national specialty chains, and on-line merchants.
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