The Canadian government is to extend its code of conduct for the credit and debit card industry to include mobile payments.
Ted Menzies, minister of state (Finance), released a proposed Addendum to the Code - which addresses transparency issues around the costs of using credit and debit cards - for public consultation.
"While we support new and convenient payment options, small businesses and consumers should not be punished with new hidden fees or undisclosed conditions," says Menzies. "As mobile payment options begin to grow more rapidly in Canada, our Government wants to ensure that the principles of transparency, fairness and competition are respected."
The consultation follows the release in March of a task force report which urged the government to take a lead in establishing a national mobile payments ecosystem and branded the banking sector as a barrier to innovation.
Corinne Pohlmann, vice president, national affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, applauded the move.
"Today's actions are welcome," she says. "They show that the Code can evolve, and will address some of the reforms needed to continue to level the playing field between payments operators and small business."
The proposed Addendum is being circulated for a 60-day comment period.