Retailers push back against credit card fees - MoneySense

Retailers push back against credit card fees

Canadian merchants fed up, plan to push the benefits of cash and debit.

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Be prepared. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is about to unleash campaign against credit card fees, and it’s aimed at you.

In early 2011 consumers can expect to be faced with new signs at the cash register, asking that they consider paying with cash or debit in an effort to spare merchants high credit card fees.

“Most Canadians are unaware that small businesses pay huge fees to the banks and credit card companies to process credit card transactions,” reads a prototype sign. “Paying with cash or by Interac helps independent firms keep prices down for us all.”

Credit card fees have been in the headlines recently thanks to a recent Competition Bureau decision to appeal to its quasi-judicial body to outlaw certain “anti-competitive” practices used by Visa and MasterCard. It would like retailers to be allowed to add a surcharge to purchases made on “premium” cards, which often charge higher merchant fees.

Visa and MasterCard plan to fight the bureau’s decision, and suggest that retailers offer discounts to consumers who pay with cash.

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