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____ Friday February 26, 2016 ____


Credit Card Fees

Canada imitates Europe and soon caps credit card fees at 0.30%

Private Members' Bill tabled today to put a cap on credit card fees

POINTE-CLAIRE, QC - Australia has done it, Europe just did it and it is now Canada's turn to follow suit in the implementation of a regulatory cap on hidden credit card transaction fees that represent $7 billion a year of unnecessary costs imposed on Canadian retailers and consumers. Today, a significant milestone was reached by the introduction of a Private Members' Bill entitled An Act to amend the Payment Card Network Act (acceptance fee for a credit card) by Linda Lapointe, Liberal MP for Rivière-des-Milles-Îles, an initiative warmly applauded by the Quebec Convenience Stores Association (AQDA) and its 6 400 Quebec c-stores that are each paying, on average, $36,000 per year in credit card fees, the equivalent of all their hard-earned annual profits.

"Canada is ripe for a regulatory cap on credit card transaction fees. The Trudeau government can't find a better proposal to revive the economy without dipping into taxpayers' pockets or widen the deficit," said Michel Gadbois, QCSA President. "This annual windfall would both create jobs and reduce retail prices for Canadian families. "

Potential savings of $6 billion per year

Ms. Lapointe's Private Members' Bill, if passed, would allow the Federal government to set a limit on the percentage of credit card transaction fees or "interchange fees". In Canada, they are among the highest in the world at 1.5% to 4% depending on the card used. If these rates were capped to 0.30% as is the case now in 28 European countries since last December, the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau would eliminate $6 billion of useless costs in the economy, including $750 million for the 25,000 convenience stores in Canada. This amount equals the entire payroll of the 55,000 Quebec convenience stores employees. One can therefore anticipate the major windfall of this economic measure in communities every year. And that's not counting the savings for consumers, charitable organizations and governments in the form of price cuts.

"It is high time to move forward with a regulatory cap on credit card transaction fees since nothing prevents it now. We congratulate Ms. Lapointe for her initiative and urge MPs of all parties to support her private Bill so that we can accelerate the process and introduce the measure as soon as possible, "concluded Mr. Gadbois.

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