Code of conduct finalized for payment card networks

(Apr. 20/10) In response to an active lobbying campaign by CRFA and other merchant associations, the Minister of Finance has released a final version of the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada

Thousands of signed petitions from CRFA members coupled with numerous presentations has moved the federal government to rein in unfair business practices by payment card networks.  

The Code addresses concerns raised by CRFA about the lack of transparency and choice for members when accepting credit and debit cards, as well as unilateral fee and rate increases imposed on merchants without notice. 

The Code also ensures restaurateurs will no longer be subjected to negative option acceptance of new debit card products.  It requires payment card networks to reissue debit cards already in circulation that do not comply with the ban on competitive co-badged debit cards and any other terms.

The Code takes effect 90 days after it is adopted by payment card networks in Canada and compliance will be monitored by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.  New legislation also gives the government authority to regulate conduct of credit and debit card networks and their participants if they fail to abide by all Code policies.