I was recently in Kensington market in Toronto when some fresh raspberries caught my eye at a local supermarket. I went inside to pay with my credit card when I was informed by the store clerk that I could only pay with credit card if I spent at least $20. This was more of an impulse purchase and I wasn’t close to the $20 threshold and I didn’t have the cash on hand, so I left the store without buying the raspberries.
We recently wrote about the possibility of merchants being able to add surcharges on credit card transactions. This week we thought I’d be interesting to look at what’s happening south of the border. The U.S. is known for big portion sizes, Major League Baseball and Wall Street, but it’s also known for generous credit card offers. If you think credit cards are generous in Canada, that’s nothing compared to the U.S. Flashy bonuses and hefty cash-back are a regular occurrence there. But with credit card landscape changing stateside, the good times could be coming to an end.
An important court ruling came out this month that all credit cardholders should be watching closely. Your favourite retailer may soon be able to start charging you extra to pay by credit card. This practice was previously banned. It’s all because of a settlement agreement reached in a class action lawsuit against credit card kingpins Mastercard and Visa.
Small businesses are faced with a difficult and costly decision when it comes to credit cards: offer credit cards as a method of payment and eat the costly transaction fees that come up with, or only offer debit and cash and risk losing customers. It’s a lose-lose situation for small businesses. After another month of dismal job numbers, it’s small businesses that are the lifeblood of our economy.
Credit cards offer consumers many benefits. They’re convenient, you can use them to earn rewards points, and to help build your credit history. Canadians can’t seem to get enough of their credit cards – we rank among the highest in the world in cashless transactions.
While credit cards are handy for consumers, have you ever stopped to think about the effect they have on retailers? Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), recently wrote an interesting article for the Financial Post about the difficulties small businesses face when it comes to paying by plastic.
The mobile payment market is heating up. Square, the company behind the wildly successful app that transforms smartphones into virtual point of sale devices, announced plans for a new credit card reader able to accept Chip-and-PIN credit cards.
Set for release in 2015, with the widespread adoption of Chip-and-PIN credit card technology, Square’s card reader could be a real game changer. Let’s take a look at how the new card reader will benefit Square and consumers alike.