New code of conduct for credit and debit card companies good news for restaurant operators

TORONTO, Nov. 20 /CNW/ - The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) welcomes the announcement yesterday by Minister Flaherty of a code of conduct for credit and debit card companies.

"This is an important step in addressing concerns of our members about unfair business practices," said CRFA President and CEO, Garth Whyte. "Our members are unhappy about current credit card fees and rules that are costly to their customers and businesses, and they are confused and anxious about the roll-out of new Visa and MasterCard debit cards."

CRFA has been calling on the federal government to provide greater oversight of the credit and debit card payment systems in Canada to ensure fees charged to merchants are reasonable, predictable, transparent, linked to costs and exclude expenses of cardholder enrichments.

The government is to be congratulated for recognizing the imbalance in negotiating power between credit card companies and merchants. The new code is a first step toward ensuring increased transparency and disclosure by credit card companies while allowing merchants choice of the cards they accept and payment options they provide.

CRFA intends to participate fully in the consultation process regarding the new Code of Practice on behalf of its 33,000 members. CRFA will press the government to carefully monitor its implementation to ensure compliance by credit card companies.

CRFA is one of Canada's largest business associations, with 33,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. CRFA works to create an environment that allows foodservice operators in communities across Canada to grow and prosper.

For further information: Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, (416) 649-4254 or pvasanthakumar@crfa.ca