A House of Commons committee agreed yesterday to launch a probe of the credit and debit card industries, a move critics say will pressure the federal government to regulate Canada’s payments industry.
Liberal MP Anthony Rota convinced the standing committee on industry, science and technology to undertake a study of credit card interchange fees and the debit payment system. The committee plans to produce recommendations that could serve as the basis for future legislation.
Rota said the catalyst for his motion was the Interac Association’s desire to become a for-profit entity — an idea that critics say will lead to higher fees for businesses and consumers.
He said it is also vital to investigate interchange fees — the behind-the-scenes cost that banks charge each other to conduct a transaction — because they can be passed on to consumers.