Federal government updates code of conduct to adds rules for mobile payments

The code of conduct that governs credit and debit card transactions is being extended to apply to mobile payments as well, federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver said Monday.

TORONTO — The code of conduct that governs credit and debit card transactions is being extended to apply to mobile payments as well, federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver said Monday.

The new rules also include a provision that says mobile users must be given full control of the default settings on their virtual wallets, Oliver said in making the announcement at the Arts Market gift store in Toronto.

He also disclosed several other additions to the code of conduct, including a requirement that savings resulting from reduced credit and debit card fees be fully passed on to merchants.

Visa and MasterCard struck a voluntary agreement with the government last November. Under the deal, both companies agreed to limit how much they charge retailers for the next five years to 1.5 per cent of the value of the transaction.

The code of conduct revisions aim to ensure that merchants will actually see that money.

The expanded code also allows merchants to exit their contracts with credit card processors without penalty.

And it grants new protections to retailers who decide to stop accepting mobile payments.

Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says the new rules will give merchants ammunition in the battle against new mobile fees.

“Our fear was there will be a big fee-apalooza when mobile payments go mainstream,” Kelly said following Oliver’s announcement.

The new rules make that less likely, Kelly said.

For example, if credit card processors try to introduce new fees for mobile payments, merchants will be able to cancel their contracts or stop accepting smartphone payments in response, he said.

The Retail Council of Canada said that while it sees the announcement as “real progress,” Canadian retailers are still paying amongst the highest transaction fees in the world.

“In the European Union, interchange rates are one-fifth of the average level paid by merchants in Canada,” the association said in a statement.

“These costs are ultimately borne by all consumers whether they are paying with cash, debit or credit. RCC intends to continue to press for deeper cuts to bring interchange in line with the fees charged elsewhere.”

NDP consumer protection critic Andrew Cash noted that the code of conduct is a voluntary one, so companies don’t necessarily have to comply.

“They’ve extended a voluntary code to mobile devices and they’ve made that announcement to pat themselves on the back, but what consumers and small businesses need are some strong regulations here,” he said.

Just Posted

Joe Hittel rappels down 12 storey building in Red Deer – again

Eighty four year old Red Deerian was not afraid to rappel down… Continue reading

Indigenous nation in Washington State seeks meeting with feds on Trans Mountain

VANCOUVER — The Lummi Nation in northwest Washington state is requesting a… Continue reading

Westerner Days: Weekend hours extended

Things heated up indoors on the Friday of Westerner Days Fair &… Continue reading

Central Alberta author recalls the giant step for humankind that happened 50 years ago

Sigmund Brouwer has written about the Apollo 11 moon mission

‘I’m choosing not to be a victim,’ Danforth shooting survivor says

TORONTO — Danielle Kane struggled with depression in her 20s and even… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

ESPN reasserts political talk policy after attack on Trump

NEW YORK — ESPN is reminding employees of the network’s policy to… Continue reading

Tentative agreement averts strike by Quebec provincial park employees

MONTREAL — A full-blown strike by employees at Quebec provincial parks that… Continue reading

Air Force will end search for missing Quebec businessman and his son

MONTREAL — The Royal Canadian Air Force said Saturday it will gradually… Continue reading

Panel orders federal judge to reconsider Trump appeal

WASHINGTON — An appeals court on Friday ordered a federal judge to… Continue reading

What consumers can do as regulators weigh compounds’ risks

WASHINGTON — The government is trying to sort out how to handle… Continue reading

Technology, temporary help keeps farmers on job longer

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. — At 79 years old, Art McManus says he’s still… Continue reading

Standoff on Hawaii mountain is about more than a telescope

HONOLULU — Protesters fighting the construction of a giant telescope on a… Continue reading

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

OTTAWA — A federal program designed to help low-income Canadians file their… Continue reading

Most Read