Ontario and Surcharges for Credit Card Use - Allowed As of October 6th, 2022
A few months ago, Telus was in front of the CRTC and looking to charge an extra 1.5% surcharge for some of it's customers that are using a credit card to pay their monthly invoice that was a regulated service. Well that didn't sit well with customers, but this is scheduled to start October 17th, 2022 once the regulator approval happens for a small portion of the Telus customer base. The CRTC is issuing it's decision within 45 days of August 12th, 2022 (date of filing request) for the small subset of those services regulated by the CRTC which is still pending.
However, the telecom is free to add the surcharge following a class action settlement with Visa and Mastercard that gives merchants the power to pass credit card fees on to customers starting Oct. 6, 2022 on most of it's customers bills not subject to the CRTC decision. Thus, the outcry continues.
The recent court settlement earlier in 2022 with Visa and Mastercard did two things:
a) it enabled businesses to claim a rebate for some of the fees paid between 2001 and 2021, and
b) it gave businesses the ability to pass on credit card fees to customers.
Claim Deadline for Documented claims for large merchants with over $20,000,000 in sales is December 31, 2022. Please note that the other deadlines for smaller merchants has expired September 30, 2022. A small recovery was available to smaller merchants as they were only entitled to receive $30 a year for each year you accepted qualifying credit card payments, up to a maximum of $600. Hardly worth the effort to apply.
The Pro's of this surcharge are that cash or debit customer don't pay more to subsidize the credit card customers that gets points and/or other incentives back. This will be cheaper for cash paying customer and they save using debit transactions or non credit cards.
The Con's are that the consumer using a credit card now will be getting reward points less this new cost charged back by the retailer, and less locations which accept a credit card over time with no surcharge.
In Ontario "need to know" before the new rules come into effect on Oct. 6, 2022 (tomorrow) as follows;
a) A businesses must notify their credit card network at least 30 days before starting to surcharge. You can choose to surcharge specific credit card products and brands, however, you may also need to equally surcharge other competing credit networks depending on your agreement with your credit card holder. Call your credit card company to learn more.
b) A company must also post notice they are surcharging, and the amounts of any surcharges at point-of-sale, as well as clearly itemize any surcharges on receipts. Therefore, you will need to create posters to meet the surcharge disclosure requirements
c) A maximum surcharge customers can be charged is capped of 2.4 per cent.
d) Businesses are also required to clearly itemize in a dollar figure the cost of the surcharge on receipts. Please contact your electronic cash register or point-of-sale system company to get more clarity on how to capture the amount of the surcharge, and display the amount on the receipt to your customer.
Thus, watch your credit card surcharges as this looks to be coming to consumers in Ontario.
If any questions or comments arise, please contact Peter at 905-898-3355 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: October 5th, 2022
Copyright © 2022 by Peter Wiesner CPA
All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or in any means – by electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise – without prior written permission.