Retail Council of Canada's 7-Year Battle Achieves Important Results for Thousands of Merchants Across Canada
TORONTO, Nov. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Retail Council of Canada (RCC) and its thousands of merchant members are delighted to learn their campaign to drive down the cost of credit card fees has generated important results.
The Government today announced voluntary agreements with the network providers VISA and MasterCard to reduce their respective credit card fees for consumer cards to an average effective rate of 1.50% for a period of five years.
"For our merchants, this is an important first step towards ending the escalation of credit card fees that have been ballooning in Canada for the past seven years. Fees that until today's announcement went completely unchecked," said Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO of RCC. "Essentially, the network providers and the banks were free to charge whatever rates they liked, and retailers simply had to bear the increased cost to their business," continued Brisebois.
"Today's voluntary agreements to lower interchange fees by an average of 9.3% is a good start, but let's be clear, even at these rates, Canadian retailers are still paying some of the highest credit card fees in the world. For example, merchants in France pay 0.28% of the cost of purchase compared to what will now be an average of 1.5% in Canada. These costs are ultimately borne by all consumers whether they are paying with cash, debit or credit."
Included in today's announcement is the assurance that all merchants receive a reduction in credit card fees, and that a greater reduction is provided for small and medium sized enterprises. The agreements will include a provision for independent verification by an independent third party to ensure compliance.
"The math is simple," says Brisebois. "Lower credit card processing fees equals lower business costs which then equals lower prices for consumers. While we've made a start today, everyone is still paying too much."
RCC has been fighting the banks and network operators on behalf of its small, mid and large retailers across Canada for nearly 10 years. "We started with the Stop Sticking It To Us Coalition in 2008, and have continued unapologetically despite enormous efforts on the parts of the banks and the networks to discredit our fight."
RCC and its members thank the Government of Canada for fulfilling its 2014 budget promise.
Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is the Voice of Retail in Canada representing more than 45,000 store fronts of all retail formats, including department, specialty, discount, and independent stores, and online merchants in general merchandise, grocery and drugs. Its membership represents over 70% of retail sales in Canada. RCC is a strong advocate for retailing in Canada and works with all levels of government and other stakeholders to support employment growth and career opportunities in retail, to promote and sustain retail investments in communities from coast-to-coast, and to enhance consumer choice and industry competitiveness. RCC also provides its members with a full range of services and programs including education and training, benchmarking and best practices, networking, advocacy, and industry information. www.retailcouncil.org For more information on this issue visit: http://cutcreditcardfees.org
Image with caption: "The vicious cycle of inter-network competition. (CNW Group/Retail Council of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141104_C9331_PHOTO_EN_43164.jpg
SOURCE: Retail Council of Canada
For further information:
To arrange an interview with Retail Council of Canada, please contact:
416 574 2552