The Canadian government has revamped its code of conduct governing credit and debit cards to include contactless and mobile payments.
Launched in 2010, the voluntary code was designed to "promote fair business practices" related to interchange fees charged by card networks, helping to protect merchants and consumers.
The update brings mobile and contactless payments into the mix, meaning that merchants can stop accepting payments made with handsets or cancel contracts with networks if new fees are introduced.
Diane Brisebois, president, Retail Council of Canada, says: ""With contactless cards already in market and smartphone payments the wave of the future, the modernisation of the Code is vital and something that we have been pursuing on behalf of retailers in Canada. I am delighted that merchants will have full choice in which networks and payment methods to accept."
Meanwhile, new consumer protections for mobile payment users will ensure that they have full and unrestricted control of the default settings on their digital wallets and devices.
Another update to the code is designed to make sure that Visa and MasterCard pass through the reduced interchange fees they promised last November, or face having contracts canceled without penalty.
Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance, says: "For merchants, these changes mean more transparency, more flexibility and more choice. Consumers will be getting the exact same—and paying less for the necessities of life. These changes mean more money in Canadians’ pockets and competitive retail markets, benefitting all Canadians."