Canadian Vending

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Higher credit card fees charged to some merchants on new cards


April 8, 2009
By Canadian Vending

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creditcardsHigher credit card fees charged to some merchants on new cards
Further results from a national public opinion poll reveal 83 per cent of Canadians with credit cards think they 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 Visa.

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

Further results from a national public opinion poll reveal 83 per cent of Canadians with credit cards think they 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 Visa.

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.

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"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.