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Rising card fees, a concern for merchants

[Wednesday, February 9th, 2011]

Card companies and merchants are at loggerheads over increasing card fees. Retailers feel empowered due to the action taken by the Competition Bureau legally against MasterCard and Visa card fees that merchants are being charged.

Merchants want consumers to rethink the decision to pay with cards and are urging the Fed Government to take action against the fees that they are charged, where the retailers pay while processing credit card transactions.

There are plans by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business to launch a campaign in early 2011, where they will encourage consumers to shop using cash or debit instead of credit cards as this will cost the retailers much less in terms of the fees charged.

The 100,000 members that belong to the CFIB will place bold signs at cash registers all over the nation to promote the benefits of using other modes of payment.

There is a prototype stating that most Canadians are unaware of the huge processing fees that small businesses have to pay each time the card is swiped.

The Competition Bureau has urged that the fees charged on the merchants must be struck down as it is an anti-competitive practice that is used by MasterCard and Visa. The recent hike in merchant fees has become a hot issue and this tactic is aimed at creating consumer awareness, however on the contrary, the Bureau has suggested an additional surcharge on purchases made with the premium cards.

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