Canadian Payment Card Industry Adopts Proposed Code of Conduct

May 27, 2010

Jim Flaherty, Canadian Minister of Finance, announced last week that all payment card networks, major credit and debit card issuers, and payment processors have adopted the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry. The code provides that card networks and issuing banks ensure merchants have clear information regarding fees and rates, are given advance notice of any new fees and fee increases, and are able to cancel contracts without penalty should fees rise or new fees be introduced. “Businesses have voiced real concerns about the lack of choice they have had in accepting debit and credit card payments, and about the costs involved,” Canadian Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty said in April. “These added business costs are borne by merchants and may be passed on to consumers, which makes this an issue of importance to all Canadians. The Code of Conduct encourages choice and competition. It gives merchants the freedom to choose which card networks they use, helps them control their costs and allows them to pass on savings to their customers.” The Code also prohibits card networks from requiring merchants accept all types of card if they accept any and enables merchants to offer discounts for using different payment methods. Most elements of the finalized Code will come into effect by August 16, 2010, as expected, according to a press release.