TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Retail Council of Canada (RCC) vigorously
applauds the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) for its
recognition that some companies in the credit and debit card industry
have been engaged in inappropriate sales and disclosure practices.
"We thank Commissioner Ursula Menke for her hard work and for
recognizing that retailers have been dealing with unfair and
unscrupulous practices from some in the payment card industry," said
Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, RCC. "We are particularly
pleased that the Commissioner addressed RCC's concerns that the Code of Conduct (the Code), for the payment card industry was being undermined by inappropriate
sales and business practices."
During the preparation of the guidance document, RCC's submission, called for Commissioner Menke to examine specific areas where the Code
was being ignored or undermined. Brisebois noted that the Commissioner
has responded to these concerns, and is demanding the payment card
industry "promptly address these issues".
Areas of concern raised by RCC's merchant members and the Commissioner's
Merchants: Sales and Business Practices - Our merchants noted that discrepancies
between agreements and statements were often misleading or dishonest,
lacked clarity and were incomplete.
Commissioner: "Payment Card Network Operators (PCNOs) will work directly with their participants to promptly address
sales or business practices within their networks that are inconsistent
with the requirement to provide clear and simple disclosure to
merchants or that may be misleading to merchants."
Merchants: Disclosure in multiple provider agreements - Our merchants often thought
they were signing a single contract provider agreement, but instead
found themselves obligated to multiple service providers. Our merchants
asked that key information affecting the merchant must be disclosed in
a clear, easy to understand manner prior to signing any contact.
Commissioner: "PCNOs will work with their participants to improve the clarity of
disclosure to be provided to merchants … by requiring that key
information be presented in a manner that is easy for merchants to find
"Some in the payment card industry have buried agreements within
agreements within agreements which misinform and mislead merchants,"
said Brisebois. "We are grateful that Commissioner Menke is taking a
hard line on this."
Merchants: Multiple contract cancellation penalties, costs or fees - Merchants
signed merchant/acquirer agreements with some companies, to later
discover they had actually entered into additional contracts for
related services. As permitted under the Code, merchants could cancel
their contract without penalty, but then found out there were
additional costs or penalties to cancel related contracts.
Commissioner: "PCNOs will work with their participants to ensure that, consistent
with Element 3 of the Code, merchants will be permitted to cancel the
merchant-acquirer agreement and all related service contracts without
penalty, following notification of any new or increased fees by any
participant or related service providers."
"RCC and our merchants have been and will continue to call for stricter
rules on the payment card industry to protect retailers and their
customers," Brisebois said. "Round two is the Competition Tribunal and
we look forward to their ruling."
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 online merchants.
SOURCE: Retail Council of Canada
For further information:
VP Communications, RCC
416 922-0553 ext. 228
416 574-2552 (Mobile)