New credit card rules a positive first step



    TORONTO, May 21 /CNW/ - Restaurant owners across Canada support Minister
Flaherty's announcement today as a first step in establishing the rules of
play for credit cards in Canada.
    While the announcement focused on protection for cardholders, the
Minister recognized concerns about the interchange fees that merchants pay as
well. Minister Flaherty said his government is closely following the committee
hearings in the House of Commons and will be able to act quickly on their
recommendations.
    "We are thrilled that the Minister recognizes there are two types of
credit card consumers: those who use cards to make payments and those who
accept payments by credit card," says Justin Taylor, Vice President Labour and
Taxation for the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA). "In
our view, both groups deserve government protection against unfair practices
of credit card companies."
    The Senate recently concluded a study on credit cards and related fees
with a report expected shortly. Ongoing hearings by a joint Industry and
Finance committee of the House of Commons have exposed the complex and
skyrocketing fees that restaurants are charged every time they accept payment
by credit cards.
    "We don't normally go looking for government regulation," says Taylor.
"But what we have in Canada is a duopoly, where Visa and MasterCard dominate
the credit card industry. Combined with an absence of government oversight,
this has led to significant increases in fees and unfair business practices by
banks, credit card companies and payment processors."

    One of Canada's largest business associations, CRFA represents
independent and chain restaurants, bars, contract and social caterers, hotels
and other foodservice providers. CRFA is also a member of the
StopStickingItToUs Coalition, a group representing more than 250,000
businesses from coast to coast with a common goal of ensuring that Canadians
can participate in a fair, transparent and convenient card payments system.





For further information:

For further information: Justin Taylor, Vice President Labour and
Taxation, (416) 649-4214 or jtaylor@crfa.ca; Jeni Armstrong, Communications
Specialist, (416) 649-4254 or jarmstrong@crfa.ca


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