September 18, 2012

Canadian government announces code of conduct expansion to mobile payments

OTTAWA-- The Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), today announced that the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada will be expanded to include mobile payments, and released a proposed Addendum to the Code for public consultation.

“Technology continues to evolve and transform our daily activities—including the way we buy items. More and more Canadians are using their smartphones to pay at stores and small businesses, and that trend will grow,” noted Minister Menzies. “While we support new and convenient payment options, small businesses and consumers should not be punished with new hidden fees or undisclosed conditions.”

The objective of the Addendum is to ensure the Code’s principles of transparency and fairness are upheld for payments that access debit or credit accounts through a mobile device at the point of sale.

“As mobile payment options begin to grow more rapidly in Canada, our Government wants to ensure that the principles of transparency, fairness and competition are respected,” Minister Menzies said.

The Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada came into effect in August 2010 to help merchants and consumers clearly understand the costs and benefits of credit and debit cards. When it was initially developed, the Code underwent extensive consultations with merchant and consumer associations, debit and credit card networks, payment processors, and credit card issuers across Canada. Since coming into force, it has helped to promote fair business practices.

This consultation delivers on a commitment to review the application of the Code to mobile payments made in response to the Task Force for the Payments System Review’s final report, released in March 2012.

“Today’s actions are welcome. They show that the Code can evolve, and will address some of the reforms needed to continue to level the playing field between payments operators and small business,” said Corinne Pohlmann, Vice-President, National Affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

“As before, we will consult closely with small businesses, retailers and others to ensure the Code of Conduct continues to allow all parties to understand and manage the costs associated with various payment options,” said the Minister. The proposed Addendum is being circulated for a 60-day comment period. During this period, all Canadians are invited and encouraged to submit their views.






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