Greenhouse Canada

RCC commends code of conduct for debit, credit cards

November 20, 2009  By Amanda Ryder

Nov. 20, 2009 – The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) commends the
Government of Canada for the introduction of a Code of Conduct to
govern the Canadian debit and credit card markets.

Retail Council of Canada (RCC), The Canadian Council of Grocery
Distributors (CCGD) and the StopStickingItToUs Coalition, representing
more than 250,000 businesses commend the Government of Canada for the
introduction of a Code of Conduct to govern the Canadian debit and
credit card markets. The announcement of the Code is an important step
toward ensuring merchant choice, enhanced competition and greater
transparency in a marketplace dominated by only a few large companies.

RCC, CCGD and its Coalition partners believe that the success of the
Code will depend heavily on both implementation and compliance, and
therefore today announced the establishment of the Payments
Accountability Council (PAC), which will provide input to the
consultation process and ultimately, report on compliance with the Code.


"Minister Flaherty deserves a great deal of credit for tackling this
important and complex issue, and merchants across Canada appreciate the
introduction of the Code," says Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO,
Retail Council of Canada. "Properly implemented, the Code will keep the
card companies' feet to the fire with their business practices and our
coalition will be holding them publicly accountable."

"The Code is a solid starting point as government begins to address
merchant concerns and to avoid skyrocketing costs for debit and credit
card transactions," says Dave Wilkes, Senior Vice President, Canadian
Council of Grocery Distributors. "It has the potential to impose some
price discipline on the card companies, and will force them to compete
for merchants' business for the first time, creating a measure of
cost-certainty for our members."

RCC, CCGD and its Coalition advocated strongly for real merchant
choice, both in transaction routing and card acceptance. Merchants are
particularly pleased to see the inclusion of two important measures to
address these demands in the announcement:

    –  On each transaction, merchants will be enabled to choose the least
       expensive method for processing.
    –  Merchants will have complete choice of whether or not to offer credit
       and/or debit products from any card brand.

While the establishment of a Code is an important milestone for
merchants and the communities they serve, its success depends on the
response of the card companies, banks and processors.

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