Ottawa, May 18, 2010

Archived - Government of Canada Finalizes Code of Conduct for Credit and Debit Card Industry

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, announced today that all payment card networks, major credit and debit card issuers, and payment processors have adopted the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada. Most elements of the finalized Code will be effective starting August 16.

“This is an important step forward for merchants and consumers,” said Minister Flaherty. “I am particularly pleased that we were able to work constructively with industry to launch this Code voluntarily and thereby avoid imposing a new regulatory burden on businesses.”

Under the Code, merchants will be:

  • Provided with clear information regarding fees and rates.
  • Given advance notice of any new fees and fee increases.
  • Able to cancel contracts without penalty should fees rise or new fees be introduced.
  • Given new tools to promote competition, and in particular, will have the freedom to accept credit payments from a particular network without the obligation to accept debit payments and vice versa.

Under legislation currently before Parliament, the Jobs and Economic Growth Act (Bill C-9), the mandate of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) will be expanded to enable the agency to monitor compliance with the Code once the legislation receives Royal Assent.

Since the release of the Code on April 16, Department of Finance and FCAC officials and stakeholders have agreed to a number of minor changes, which are highlighted in the revised Code.

For further information, media may contact:

Annette Robertson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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