Canada May Allow Merchants to Decline Mobile Card Payments

November 20, 2014, Written By Lynn Oldshue
Mobile Payment

As mobile payments increase in popularity, merchants in Canada are concerned about a possible increase in fees. As a result, the country’s Finance Minister may announce an adjustment in Canada’s code of conduct for credit and debit cards, allowing merchants to not accept mobile payments in their stores.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the new rule would give merchants the ability to turn down mobile Visa and MasterCard payments, even if they accept plastic cards from those issuers. This amendment comes after Visa and MasterCard agreed to charge lower swipe fees to merchants in Canada.

At the moment, merchants do not have to pay more to process mobile payments than they do a regular transaction. However, retailers are concerned the fees will soon rise, especially with the introduction of Apple Pay. In the United States, CVS and Rite Aid have already disabled the use of Apple Pay in their stores, opting to accept a more affordable option called CurrentC.

The current code of conduct allows Canadian merchants to turn down Visa and MasterCard debit cards if they choose to, and the new code would extend that option to mobile wallets. The amendment will not stop Visa or MasterCard from creating higher fees for mobile payments, but it will give merchants the power to avoid those fees if they choose.

The draft of the proposal obtained by The Wall Street Journal reads:

“Should fees set by the payment card networks in respect of contactless payments made from a mobile device increase relative to card-based contactless payments, payment card networks will develop the technical specifications to ensure that merchant acceptance of contactless payments made from a mobile device can be canceled at the point of sale without disabling other forms of contactless payments acceptance.”



The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 20, 2014. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.