Following the steps of previous attempts by other Competition commissions around the world, like Australia and some EU countries, Canada’s Competition Bureau has launched its own investigation into the credit card market. As noted in other parts of the world, high interchange fees levied on merchants impact on consumer prices and the profitability of retailers. According to the CB’s opening arguments Visa and MC rules do not allow merchants to discriminate prices depending on the payment option, which carries a different cost structure.
This is the ultimate frontier for mobile payments, which should be able to bring about a viable alternative to the dominant payment schemes. The question is how long before we start seeing an impact on the current fee levels?