Did you accept VISA and Mastercard credit cards between March 23, 2001, and September 2, 2021? You may be eligible to receive money from the class action settlements
Background on this Class Action Lawsuit
Class actions were started in Canada after claims of Visa, Mastercard and certain banks conspired to restrict merchants’ ability to surcharge or refuse higher-cost Visa and Mastercard credit cards.
Settlements were reached amongst some of the largest banks and credit card providers in Canada on December 6, 2021, totaling $188 million and a payout after court-approved deductions of $131 million in compensation were made available for distribution to class members: small, medium, or large merchants that accepted VISA and Mastercard credit cards between March 23, 2001, to September 2, 2021.
Additionally, Visa and Mastercard have agreed to modify their no-surcharge rules to allow merchants to surcharge, up to a cap, and to ensure this ability to surcharge remains in effect for a minimum of five years.
Who is eligible for compensation under the Class Action Lawsuit?
“Settlement Class Members” are small, medium, or large merchants who accepted payments by Visa or Mastercard in exchange for goods or services in Canada between March 23, 2001, and September 2, 2021.
In order to participate in the Settlement, a Class Member must submit a claim no later than September 30, 2022 – be sure to apply today!
Visit www.creditcardsettlements.ca for more information on claims.
Submitting a Claim
As of May 30, 2022, eligible Settlement Class Members can now submit a claim through the Credit Card Settlements website.
All you need to provide is:
- Your name
- Contact information
- Size of your business including annual revenues during the claim period (can be classified as a small, medium, or large merchant)
- Small merchants having an average annual revenue over the claim period of less than $5 million are eligible to receive $30 per year that you incurred merchant discount fees
- Medium merchants having an average annual revenue over the claim period between $5 million and $20 million are eligible to receive $250 per year that you incurred merchant discount fees
- Large merchants having an average annual revenue over the claim period of $20 million+ are eligible to receive $250 per year you incurred merchant discount fees if filing using the simplified method, or potentially more if able to provide more documentation, in which case they will proportionally share in the ‘Large Merchant Fund’.
- A declaration attesting that you collected credit card payments at some point between March 23, 2001, and September 2, 2021.
- More details on required documentation can be found here.
Note: Merchants classified as “small businesses” are not required to provide documentation.
Restaurants Canada has and will continue to advocate for increased regulation on merchant credit card fees. Notably to regulate the credit card interchange fees, cap fees and prohibit credit card issuers from adding new fees to recoup lost revenue. In addition, we also request the removal of merchant fees from the tax portion of the restaurant bill.
This settlement demonstrates that our demands are appropriate, and we will continue to work with government stakeholders to improve the restaurateurs’ operations. We aim to lower overhead costs as much as possible to ultimately increase the average restaurant’s pre-tax profit well beyond the current 2-3 per cent.