Poll: Most credit card holders expect to ultimately pay for higher fees charged to merchants on some new cards

    TORONTO, April 8 /CNW/ - Further results from a national public opinion
poll reveal 83 per cent of Canadians with credit cards think they as customers
will ultimately pay for the higher fees charged to merchants on some of the
new premium cards issued to customers by companies such as MasterCard and
    Catherine Swift, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent
Business (CFIB) said the credit card companies and banks have turned confusion
and a lack of clarity into a fine art. She said it's more often the case that
customers who receive premium cards are completely unaware there will be
higher fees assessed to the merchants who accept them for payment. To make
matters worse, said Swift, the businesses themselves often don't realize there
is a higher charge until after the fact. "With such confusion it's no wonder
most Canadians think they'll wind up paying the extra charges," said Swift.
"We believe, however, that the majority of merchants will likely do everything
they can to absorb the additional costs rather than pass them along and take
the risk of being less competitive, especially during tough economic times."
    Swift said it may be very convenient for the credit card companies and
banks to have the general public think it will be the merchants who pass along
the additional costs to customers, rather than for the spotlight to be on the
card firms and banks themselves for having come up with the extra fees in the
first place. "This is one of the reasons we are working to have the federal
government, opposition parties and the Senate get on the same page to bring
some accountability, clarity and transparency into this area," said Swift. "At
this point in time there is hardly any."
    When the results were broken down, in addition to the majority of
respondents who said they think customers will ultimately pay for the higher
fees, eight per cent thought it would be the merchants, and only two per cent
felt it would be the credit card firms, and another two per cent cited banks.
One per cent felt someone else would pay.

    This poll was commissioned in early March by the Canadian Federation of
Independent Business (CFIB) for the purpose of gaining better insight into the
attitudes and knowledge that Canadians have in regards to the credit card
industry. The poll was conducted by telephone for CFIB between March 5 and 8,
2009 with 1,524 credit card holders across Canada. The results of the poll are
accurate to +/- 2.5 % 19 times out of 20.

For further information:

For further information: To arrange an interview contact Gisele Lumsden:
(416) 222-8022

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Canadian Federation of Independent Business

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