Credit card fees too much: Chamber

The Tri-City News, 17 April 2012

Tri-City businesses joined forces on Monday to discuss the impact high credit-card processing fees are having on their bottom line.

Canadian merchants pay some of the highest credit card processing fees in the world. The average rate in Canada exceeds 2%, compared to countries like Australia where the average rate is about 1% and 0.79% in the UK.

The forum was hosted by NDP MP Fin Donnelly (New Westminster-Coquitlam), the Tri-Cities and New Westminster Chambers of Commerce, the Retail Council of Canada and Shelfspace.

"Retailers want the government to take action and bring the current system more in line with the rest of the western world,” Donnelly said in a news release.

“As a small business, we have to deal with a small profit margin,” said one merchant. “The processing fee we pay each month is approximately 10% of our total lease amount.”

“As a Chamber of Commerce that represents business concerns in our community, this issue is of great concern,” said Cori Lynn Germiquet, executive director of the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce. ”To be effective in our advocacy efforts, we will only be successful if everyone has a voice and that voice is heard. Last night’s session was the beginning of what promises to be the genesis of very effective voice.”

“The current structure of Credit card processing fees have evolved in such a manner that it is confusing and a burden to small business. As small business is the backbone of the economy, we must look at ways to collectively to address these issues,” added Michael Hind, executive director of the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce.

© The Tri-City News