Nearly 1-in-5 merchants considering credit card surcharge ahead of new rules: survey

Credit surcharges eyed

A new survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says 19 per cent of small businesses are considering adding a surcharge on credit card transactions to offset processing fees, while most remain on the fence for fear of losing customers.

The report comes ahead of new rules set to take effect this week that will give small businesses the power to add a surcharge on some credit card transactions. 

Twenty-six per cent of survey respondents say they will add a surcharge if their competitors or suppliers do, but 40 per cent of small businesses say they are not sure yet and 15 per cent do not intend to add an additional charge.

Businesses that often sell to other businesses are most likely to surcharge for credit card usage, the survey found, while businesses that serve consumers were less likely to say they would do it.

CFIB senior vice-president of national affairs Corinne Pohlmann says small merchants have long been dealing with expensive credit card processing fees.

The new surcharge option will not be available in Quebec due to consumer protection laws in the province.

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