Credit card fees hidden to consumers, a burden for retailers

Who gets paid, and when, in the current system of credit card merchant fees

CBC News Last Updated: Feb. 11, 2014

When you buy something at a store, you don't pay any upfront fees to use a credit card. But merchants do — anywhere from 1.5 to 3 per cent of the transaction value on each sale. The Competition Bureau heard in May 2012 that these fees add up to $5 billion in revenue for the credit card industry annually.

Retailers have lobbied for the ability to pass a surcharge on to consumers to cover these costs. Many also want to be able to reject premium cards, which carry a higher percentage fee, while still accepting others. Compare the checkout costs for merchants on various payments — and see who gets paid when — in the scenario below.


Sources: CBC reports, Parliament of Canada, Canadian Bankers Association, Interac, Visa Canada

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