RCC applauds Alberta Premier’s call to Harper for limits on credit and debit fees
December 17, 2008 By CNW Group Ltd.
Dec. 17, 2008 – Retail Council of Canada (RCC) applauds Alberta Premier
Ed Stelmach for his recommendation to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and
his government to limit fees charged to businesses for processing
credit and debit transactions – fees that eventually trickle down to
Retail Council of Canada (RCC) applauds Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach for
his recommendation to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government
to limit fees charged to businesses for processing credit and debit
transactions – fees that eventually trickle down to consumers.
The Premier's recommendation came Monday in an open letter to the Prime
Minister outlining Alberta's priorities for the federal budget. RCC
encourages Premiers in every province to stand up for Canadian small
businesses and the communities they serve by taking a stance on these
"At a time when Canadian consumers and merchants are struggling,
Premier Stelmach has shown great leadership by calling for limits to
the skyrocketing fees charged by big credit card companies and the
banks that issue their cards," said Diane J. Brisebois, President and
CEO, Retail Council of Canada. "In addition, businesses are facing the
introduction of new payment schemes from the credit card companies next
year, including the introduction of debit, and the restructuring of
Interac, which we anticipate will substantially increase fees for
The fees charged to merchants for accepting credit and debit
transactions represent an enormous cost for average Canadians and any
organization that accepts payment by this method – small businesses and
retailers, charities, schools, restaurants, hotels, government services
and others. The average Canadian household pays hundreds of dollars a
year in fees without even knowing it as they are a hidden portion of
virtually every transaction they make.
Federal and provincial political leaders can help Canadians and the
small businesses at the heart of their communities by taking action
against skyrocketing credit and debit card fees. If swift action is not
taken, small businesses and the jobs they provide could be at greater
risk – in addition to the impact on Canadians' tightening budgets.
The fees retailers, restaurants, charities and others pay the big
credit card companies and the banks issuing their cards are among the
highest in the world, exceeding 2 per cent. That means that a $100
purchase costs small businesses two dollars or more, which goes
directly to the card companies and their issuing banks. Compare that to
a small business in Australia that is charged 45 cents on the same $100
transaction, or in the UK where they pay 79 cents – in these and other
countries governments acted to curb high card costs.
Dozens of countries around the world – the U.S., Australia,
Colombia, Hungary, Romania and Spain – are investigating the card
companies' fee practices. The StopStickingItToUs coalition calls on
federal and provincial political leaders to expose these fees and
standup for small businesses, their employees and the Canadian
communities they serve.
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