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Credit Card Class Action Settlement - What it means for your business

What is the Credit Card Class Action Settlement and what does it mean to your business?

Thursday, August 4th, 2022 at 1:00 pm ET

Join CFIB and the lawyers from the Credit Card Class Action lawsuit and learn more! 

How to Claim

Starting May 30, 2022, you can submit a claim through the Credit Card Class Action website. What you will need to know: 

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Size of your business / annual revenues during the claim period (can be classified as a small, medium, or large business – see table below)
  • Attestation that you collected credit card payments at some point since March 23, 2001 – more information to come on details of attestation requirements

Note: No documentation is required for merchants classified as “small businesses”.

Claim Here

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Process

You will receive confirmation that your claim was submitted successfully. Your application will then be reviewed and either approved or denied.

If you are approved, you can expect to receive your funds before the end of 2022 by direct deposit or cheque (opting for a cheque will deduct $2 from your claim).

If you are denied, you will receive a decision notice. No appeal process exists for small business claims. If you have any concerns, you can speak to the claim administrator.

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How Much You'll Receive

Merchant size Average annual revenue over the claim period Amount you can receive per year you incurred merchant discount fees
Small merchant Less than $5 million $30 / year (max $600)
Medium merchant Between $5 million to $20 million $250 / year (max $5,000)
Large merchant $20 million + $250 / year 

CFIB Takes On The Credit Card Industry

Credit cards may be handy for consumers – but they can be expensive for merchants like you! Since 2008, CFIB has been negotiating with government and the credit card industry to level the playing field and lower processing fees for your business.

How CFIB is helping merchants like you:

Webinar Registration

Eligibility

Application deadline is September 30, 2022!

You’re eligible to receive a portion of the settlement if you:

•  Were a merchant in Canada at any point between March 23, 2001, and September 2, 2021,
• Accepted Visa and/or Mastercard credit cards as payment for goods and services,
•  Incurred merchant discount fees, including interchange fees.

With your support, we will continue to fight for:

  • Lower interchange fees
  • No swipe fees on GST/HST
  • More fairness for merchants on “chargebacks”
  • No fees on prepaid cards and refunds

Join Now

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FAQ - How do I claim my money?

When can I expect to receive my claim payout?

After the claim portal closes on September 30, 2022, the administrators will evaluate the number of claims before paying out claimants before the end of 2022.

My business is now closed, am I still eligible?

Yes, if you collected credit card payments between March 23, 2001, and September 2, 2021, you will be eligible to claim money from the settlement.

What is the cost of submitting a claim to the settlement? Do I need a third-party provider?

There is no cost to submitting a claim to the settlement. The process is simple and requires no documentation for small businesses. Some third-party providers may offer to submit your claim on your behalf for a fee.

What is the deadline to submit a claim to the settlement?

Merchants will have until September 30th, 2022 to submit a claim through the Online Claim Portal or postmarked mail.
You cannot submit a claim after the deadline. Any questions or concerns about the deadline can be directed to the Claims Administrator.

Can I appeal if my claim is rejected?

No, undocumented claims cannot be appealed. An appeal process only exists for medium and large businesses who decide to submit a documented claim. These must be sent to an arbitrator within 30 days of a Decision Notice and require a $150 filing fee.

How do I report the settlement money in my taxes?

According to the Canada Revenue Agency, this settlement money should be treated as income and is subject to tax.

Who do I contact for issues or complaints with my claim?

As of May 30th, when the portal opens, you can contact the Claims administrator who will be able to assist you in filing a claim form at no cost. Until May 30th, you can:

  • Register to stay informed and receive direct notice of any important developments, including when to make a claim
  • Email any questions to the lawyers 

How can I learn more about the lawsuit?

The Credit Card Class Actions Settlements have a website with more information.

FAQ - What is Surcharging and how do I start?

How does the class action settlement tie into surcharging?

In the settlement of the lawsuit, credit card networks, such as Visa and Mastercard, agreed to allow merchants to pass on their added fees to customers. This option will become available October 6, 2022.
This changes the contract rules between the credit card networks and the merchants. Should you operate in Quebec, you will still not be able to surcharge as the provincial Consumer Protection Act does not allow it.

What is surcharging?

A payment card surcharge is an additional fee that a merchant can choose to charge a consumer’s bill when they pay with a credit card at the point of sale.

Can I charge a fee on Interac payments?

Yes. The ability to add a fee to Interac debit card transactions has been and continues to be available to merchants.

If your business operates in Quebec, this will not be available to you, as the provincial Consumer Protection Act does not allow it.

Is a surcharge the same as a convenience fee?

No, a surcharge is different from a convenience fee.
A surcharge is any fee added to a transaction for using a credit card.
A convenience fee is a fee that merchants may impose on all transactions no matter the method of payment. These can include debit card transactions (Interac).

If a merchant is eligible to surcharge and impose a convenience fee, they cannot add both on the same transaction.

Can I surcharge my clients today?

No, Visa and Mastercard do not allow you to surcharge your clients today, but this will change October 6, 2022. Each credit card network (e.g., Visa and Mastercard) will open a registration process for Merchants to identify their intent to surcharge and agree to disclosure agreements (such as a minimum of 30 days’ notice to clients) before starting to surcharge customers.

If your business operates in Quebec, surcharging will not be available to you, as the provincial Consumer Protection Act does not allow it.

Which credit cards will I be able to surcharge?

Merchants can pick and choose which credit card brands or products they would like to surcharge to a maximum of 2.4%. It will be your decision. You may decide to only surcharge premium cards that charge your business higher fees.

Save even more on your credit and debit processing costs with CFIB

Looking for fair contracts and even more savings? CFIB members have access to exclusive low rates with Chase, one of Canada’s leading payment processors. Learn more here or speak to one of our Savings Program Specialists at 1-888-521-0223.

You can also speak to one of our Business Advisors at 1-833-568-2342 to ask any questions about the class action.

Become A CFIB Member Now