Visa released the following statement in conjunction with its Response to the Bureau's Application:
TORONTO, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - "Visa remains committed to preserving our pro
competitive and pro consumer policies and we have reiterated this
position today in our response to the Canadian Competition Bureau legal
challenge. We believe the Bureau's Application to eliminate our no
surcharge and honour all cards policies has no merit and in fact the
Bureau's position would be harmful to Canadian consumers.
"Visa's no-surcharging protection was created specifically to prevent
retailers from imposing a check-out fee on consumers who choose the
convenience, security and reliability of Visa cards over cash and
cheques. By eliminating this protection the Competition Bureau
proposes to allow merchants to penalize Canadians by charging more than
the advertised price for products and apply a surprise fee at check-out
simply because a cardholder has exercised their individual choice to
use a credit card.
"In countries where government regulators have allowed retailers to
surcharge, retailers have often turned this practice into a profit
centre. In Australia, where regulations allow retailers to surcharge
consumers, surcharges are now as high as 10 per cent, according to a
November 2010 survey commissioned by the New South Wales Minister for
"Visa's honour all cards protection is in place to ensure consumers are
able to choose, without penalty, the credit card that best suits their
particular transaction, and prevent merchants from reaching into their
wallets to dictate the credit card they use. Removing this
pro-consumer policy will lead to consumer confusion and reduce consumer
choice at the point-of-sale.
"In the highly competitive Canadian marketplace, merchants have an
abundance of choice on how to receive payment, including credit cards,
charge cards, prepaid cards, private label cards, debit cards, cash,
cheques, and other electronic and non-electronic payment methods. Also,
merchants are free to provide incentives or discounts to Canadian
consumers to steer them to the merchant's preferred payment method.
"Merchants that do choose to accept Visa cards receive tremendous
benefits including access to over a billion cardholders, potential for
increased sales, faster returns, guaranteed payment, and enhanced
security. In a two sided market, Visa believes consumer benefits should
be equally protected."
About Visa Canada
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers,
businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200
countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital
currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most
advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more
than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for
consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and
does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for
consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial
institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with
debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products.
Visa has been operating in Canada for more than 40 years. Within
Canada, financial institutions have issued more than 31 million Visa
cards and the company serves more than 600,000 point of sale acceptance
locations across the country. Visa facilitates Canadian commerce
through the transfer of payments across our network securely and
reliably every second of every day. For more information, visit www.visa.ca.
SOURCE VISA Canada Corporation
For further information:
Media Contact: Melissa Cassar, Visa Canada (416) 860-8895, email@example.com