CFIB Lobbies for Changes to Credit Code

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TORONTO — A landmark U.S. ruling has incented the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) to call on Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to strengthen the government’s Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada by allowing merchants the freedom to levy a surcharge to credit-card users, among other recommendations.

“We believe the best course of action is to allow for limited surcharges and the right to refuse certain high-cost cards in the Code itself,” said Dan Kelly, CFIB’s new president and CEO.

“We do not expect many small firms would ultimately use these powers, but the fact they exist would help Canadian merchants push back against the estimated $5 billion they and consumers pay each year in transaction fees.”

This comes after a settlement with Visa and Mastercard, which will give U.S. merchants the power to implement a surcharge when they accept credit cards.

The CFIB is also asking for new provisions to address growing mobile payment options; strengthening provisions related to card processor practices; and the development of more effective dispute-resolution processes.

Canada’s Competition Tribunal is expected to rule on similar provisions in a few months.

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