MasterCard Raises Ire of Canadian Small Businesses 

Jan. 10, 2013

Recently, MasterCard Canada informed small merchants in the country that it will increase transaction fees by 20 percent, from 6.4 to 7.7 basis points beginning in July. The MasterCard increase follows a similar move announced by Visa last October that raised rates on the same class of merchant by a third. This week, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) fired back.

“CFIB is very disappointed that MasterCard is choosing to increase its fees at a time when small firms are struggling with an uncertain economy,” said Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.  “While MasterCard is raising fees by a smaller amount than Visa, it is particularly surprising that both major card brands are increasing their fees just before Canada’s Competition Tribunal is expected to rule on its case against the two card giants.”

The Competition Tribunal, which began its investigation of Visa and MasterCard in May of last year, in addition to ruling on interchange could allow merchants to add surcharges for accepting credit cards, or allow merchants to refuse to accept certain higher cost cards.