FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2014
OTTAWA – The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) calls for action to cap merchant credit card fees now – not more consultation.
“CRFA is pleased the government recognizes that restaurants and other retail merchants are gouged by high credit card fees, which impacts prices for all Canadians,” said CRFA President and CEO Garth Whyte.
Despite budget support for the Competition Tribunal’s findings that Visa and MasterCard practices raise costs for merchants, the government remains slow to act.
“We are encouraged the government intends to strengthen the Code of Conduct,” said Whyte. “However, now is the time to cap merchant credit card fees, particularly in the restaurant sector.”
CRFA is also disappointed the government has yet to take steps to stop credit card companies from profiting off taxes collected on its behalf – a $40-million cost to the restaurant industry alone.
A recent survey showed that 93 per cent of CRFA members are “very concerned” about high credit cardfees. Eighty per cent of restaurateurs noted that credit card merchant fees are having a “significant impact” on their costs.
Increasingly, international jurisdictions are recognizing the harm that unregulated interchange fees pose to consumers, businesses and the economy, and are introducing regulatory caps. Credit card companies have demonstrated their unwillingness to address these unfair practices on their own.
CRFA is one of Canada’s largest business associations, with 30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada’s restaurant industry generates $68 billion annually in economic activity and employs more than 1.1 million people in communities across the country.