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Langley Chamber Pushes for Lower Credit Card Fees in Federal Consultations

Langley Chamber Pushes for Lower Credit Card Fees in Federal Consultations

Langley Chamber Pushes for Lower Credit Card Fees in Federal Consultations

January 17, 2023 - The Langley Chamber has told the federal government and Department of Finance that action is needed to reduce the cost of credit card fees paid by business, particularly our small business community, during ongoing government consultations on interchange fees.

In a submission to the government, the Langley Chamber noted that with the steady transition to electronic payment methods, businesses are paying more and more in merchant fees, directly cutting into margins and profitability for many who are still rebuilding from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now facing rising inflation and a questionable economic climate.

Without undermining the long-term viability of the interchange system -- which is a vital service for businesses and consumers alike --  the Langley Chamber is advocating that the government address the following priorities:

  • Working with the industry, achieve reductions in the interchange fees charged for processing the dozens of card varietals so that businesses realize fee reductions across the board without having to discourage or police particular card usage by consumers.  

  • ​Reduce the “basket rate” charged to businesses by establishing limitations on the range of processing fees permitted, possibly through an upper cap on the fees charged for premium cards.   Many payment providers offer a “basket rate” – one fee which covers the processing of all cards.  However, to set this “basket rate” the processors consider the range of fees associated with all cards that could be accepted, so higher fee cards skew the “basket rate” upwards, increasing the fees some businesses pay for accepting all other cards. 

  • Given the increase in online shopping, e-commerce, pick-up/take-out and other purchases where the merchant and the buyer are not physically together, reduce the fee premium paid for  ‘card not present’ transactions, which cost businesses even more to accept in this format.

  • Explore with the industry ways of establishing mandatory best practices, professional standards or codes of conduct for the payment processing industry to ensure merchants receive fair and transparent payment processing services, contracts and agreements, and the industry itself is protected from harm caused by disreputable operators.  

Read our letter of submission to the federal consultations