TORONTO, April 13, 2015 – Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation strongly support the Federal Government’s enhancements to the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada, (Code of Conduct) released by Finance Minister Oliver on April 13, 2015, and commit to formally adopt the measures.
“Minister Oliver has delivered effective enhancements to the Code of Conduct, particularly in the area of mobile payments,” stated Mark O’Connell, President and CEO of Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation. “The enhancements further promote fair and healthy competition, and reinforce the importance of choice and transparency for merchants and consumers.”
“The Code of Conduct is a pragmatic and flexible public policy tool that sets clear and effective principles for the payments industry to follow, while being technology agnostic and not pre-judging market outcomes,” emphasized Mr. O’Connell.
Canada has a highly competitive and innovative payments environment with additional competition constantly emerging. With Interac products, our goal has always been – and remains – to provide merchants with a low-cost, secure payment acceptance option and consumers with a convenient, secure and easy way to pay.
“While we recognize that payment acceptance is just one of the costs of running a business, we know that it is a line item that is increasingly less predictable and more costly and a true pain point for many merchants,” remarked Mr. O’Connell. “Within the Code of Conduct, there are a number of key provisions that merchants can use to their advantage to help lower acceptance costs.”
Key provisions include:
- Merchants can not be forced to accept credit card companies’ debit products, often with higher acceptance costs, if they accept the credit offerings.
- Merchants have the ability to steer customers to lower costs options, like Interac Debit, through discounting.
- Merchants have control over contactless payment acceptance and can choose to turn off mobile acceptance if there is a price differential between types of mobile payments, and mobile and card-based contactless payments.
Interac products are priced at a low, flat-fee rate and pennies per transaction. This compares to the pricing models of credit cards as well as those companies’ debit product offerings.
In Canada, the credit card companies have always been free to sell their domestic debit point-of-sale value proposition to financial institution issuers and merchants alike to build their respective businesses. The Code of Conduct simply sets the healthy principles by which this should happen.
“By not being forced to accept credit card companies’ debit products, under the companies’ proprietary honour-all-cards rules, merchants in Canada have a power nearly unheard of elsewhere,” emphasized Mr. O’Connell. “It’s up to them to use it wisely.”
Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation formally adopted the original Code of Conduct in May, 2010.
About Interac Association / Acxsys Corporation
Interac is Canada’s leading payment brand. Together, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation operate an economical, world-class debit system with broad-based acceptance, 24/7 reliability, security and efficiency. The brand is chosen an average of 12 million times daily to pay and exchange money. Interac products and services securely connect people to their money at the ABM through Interac Cash, at retailers across Canada through Interac Debit and the US, and online through web based services – Interac Online for online purchases, and Interac e-Transfer for person-to-person payments. In addition, Interac Flash, the secure contactless enhancement of Interac Debit, is in widespread use at retailers across Canada and provides the platform for mobile NFC proximity payments. The organization is also a leader in the prevention and detection of fraud.