Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver announced this week that the code of conduct that governs credit and debit card transactions in Canada is being extended to apply to mobile and contactless payments. Additionally, mobile users must also be granted full control of the default settings on their virtual wallets.
The code is designed to promote fair business practices related to interchange fees. With this expansion, retailers can now refuse mobile and contactless payments if new fees are implemented.
“With contactless cards already in market and smartphone payments the wave of the future, the modernization of the Code is vital and something that we have been pursuing on behalf of retailers in Canada,” says Diane J. Brisebois, President of Retail Council of Canada. “I am delighted that merchants will have full choice in which networks and payment methods to accept.”
Oliver notes that, for retailers, “these changes mean more transparency, more flexibility and more choice.”
Oliver also announced several other additions to the code of conduct, including a requirement that savings resulting from reduced credit and debit card fees would be passed on to merchants, the Canadian Press noted. Last November, Visa and MasterCard agreed to limit how much they charge retailers for the next five years to 1.5% of the value of the transaction – the revisions to the code ensure that merchants will actually see that money.
The revised code also allows retailers to exit their contracts with credit card processors without penalty.
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