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You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.
(Daniel Patrick Moynihan)

JUNE 26, 2012

Canadians and modes of payments at the point of sale

Prompted by complaints filed by merchants since 2009, the Canadian Commissionner of Competition filed an application with the Competition Tribunal to look at certain rules imposed by Visa and MasterCard on their merchants in 2010. The initial complaints were related to Visa and MasterCard rules that limit the ability of merchants to:

  • "discriminate against or discourage the use of particular credit cards in favour of any other credit card, or any other method of payment;
  • Impose a surcharge on the use of particular credit cards or set prices for customers based on the particular credit card used; and
  • Refuse to accept particular credit cards." [1]
  • In this legal case, Circum Network recently submitted a report and Benoît Gauthier testified as an expert witness at the Competition Tribunal, in a case revolving around the forms of payment used by Canadians, their preferences and attitudes towards certain payment method steering strategies used at the points of sale. The participation as an expert witness was based on a survey of 11,561 Canadians aged 18 and older who possess a credit card. The survey included an on-line component (8,894 respondents, or 78%) as well as a telephone component (2,577 respondents, or 22%).

    The study shed light on Canadians' ownership of various modes of payment and their use; their attitudes when presented with various point-of-scale scenarios; and their opinions vis-à-vis a series of forced choices.

  • The report is available on this site as well as on the site of the Competition Tribunal.

    [1] Anthony Baldanza, Leslie Milton and Mark Magro, Increased enforcement for restrictive trade practices? Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
    [2] Premium credit cards function the same way as standard credit cards, but provide additional services, rewards or incentives to customers; the service fees charged to merchants are also higher than that of standard cards.

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  • To reach us:

    General address : service@circum.com
    Benoît Gauthier : gauthier@circum.com, @BGauthierCEEQ
    Tel. : +1 819 775-2620, Fax : (no more fax; sorry)
    238 Fleming Road, Cantley, Québec J8V 3B4