Canada: Group of SMEs negotiate lower credit-card fees

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has successfully negotiated a reduction in fees for accepting American Express cards from 3-3.5% to 1.8% for some members.

Dan Kelly president of CFIB believes “this will lead to an expansion of American Express coverage in the small business marketplace therefore creating, we’re hoping, some more competition”.

Data from RFi Group’s Merchant acquiring council shows that merchant preference for accepting American express is considerably lower than the preference for Visa or Mastercard credit card payments, which shows how its historically high fees have impacted their preferred acceptance.

According to Walmart Canada spokesman Rob Nicol, “we continue to believe credit-card fees are excessive in Canada. Canadian merchants pay fees at least three times higher than what all merchants – big and small – pay in the 27 countries of the European Union”.

While fees in Canada are high relative to other nations, Visa believes that these higher rates have championed innovations in chip cards and contactless payments, which have benefited many consumers across the world. Visa says it will “continue to work with the government and other stakeholders to promote a competitive, efficient, innovative and secure payment system in Canada”.

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