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Canada retail group struggles for lower credit cards charges
One group of Canadians and other merchants are pressing for lower credit cards charges from large payments network in the midst of a long-running struggle for allegedly excessive prices in Canada. Visa Canada and MasterCard Canada, the two biggest credit cards issuers, bill Visa Canada and MasterCard Canada for an annual 1.5% of their transaction on the acceptance of the plastics, with some exchange charges of up to 2.5% or more.
However, retail groups say that Canada's price levels are much higher than those in Europe and Australia and consumers' price levels may rise. American Express Canada, for its part, has even higher charges - between 3 and 3.5% for small dealers. Now, the Canadian Federation of Independent Companies (CFIB), representing 110,000 SMEs, will present an agreement with JPMorgan Chase to cut Amex charges by almost 50% - to 1.8% - for some members in an attempt to rock the stable credit cards industry in Canada.
"We believe this will result in an extension of American Express reporting in the small enterprise market, which we hope will result in further rivalry between three large e-payments firms, as distinct from the two large ones," said Dan Kelly, CFIB chairman. This stalemate ended in early 2017 when Walmart signed an arrangement with Visa to reduce its charges to an unknown low - less than 1%, according to the source - far from what many small firms are paying, and a recall that they do not have the power of large firms.
CFIB's transaction with Amex follows a transaction the Group made with MasterCard Canada last year, which cut the fee for most CFIB members by 12.5% to 1.26% of the value of a customer's previous 1.44% buy - the new stages being those proposed to only a small number of the country's biggest dealers.
However, other groups of enterprises say that they do not want to bargain with credit cartel firms for specific arrangements for their members, but rather call for a change in German government policies to open the way for wider discounts. Responding to increasing tension between corporations and credit cards over charges, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in 2016 that he would be reviewing the Canada payment system.