Toronto, ON – October 24, 2016 – Visa today implemented changes to its interchange rates in the grocery sector and an expanded category of food retailers, aiming to help merchants in these key sectors lower their costs. These changes were initially announced in April and are an example of our commitment to the voluntary undertaking with the Government of Canada.
In July, Visa also introduced a new category called Everyday Needs, which includes businesses in segments with a small merchant focus where Canadians spend the most, including drug stores, dry cleaners, convenience stores, taxis and restaurants. These changes will result in lower interchange rates for more than 175,000 merchants in this segment and support our commitment to the voluntary undertaking. In accordance with the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry which requires a notification period for interchange rate changes, these rates will be implemented as of April 2017.
In 2014, Visa voluntarily committed to reducing its average effective interchange rate in Canada to 1.50% on consumer credit cards. Through the changes to the food retail/grocery sector and the Everyday Needs category, Visa continues to deliver reductions to key merchant segments, particularly smaller merchants where Canadians spend most. In September, the Government of Canada acknowledged the independent audit findings that Visa met its commitment to reduce credit card interchange fees, which include reductions of interchange fees for small and medium-sized enterprises and charities.
Full details of the new rates are available online at www.visa.ca. An infographic is available here.