Debit card services provider, Interac has
spoken out in support of the final Code of Conduct for Debit and
Credit Payments in Canada, believing that it re-establishes choice
and transparency in the marketplace for both merchants and

Interac claim that federal Finance Minister
Jim Flaherty  has developed meaningful and practical solutions
that will effectively address significant concerns that have been
raised by merchants and consumers about changes taking place in
Canada’s debit marketplace.

“The draft Code certainly had good bones and
Minister Flaherty didn’t just add flesh to them, he added muscle,”
said Mark O’Connell, president and CEO of Interac Association.
“Maintaining complementary co-badged debit cards is an elegant
solution to a whole host of concerns caused by competitive
co-badged cards. It upholds what exists in Canadians’ wallets today
and, at the same time, enhances the competitive debit landscape in
Canada by promoting fair and healthy competition.”

Canada now has a multi-network debit
environment whereby all competitors should play by the same
transparent rules that provide adequate protection for merchants
and consumers.

“As we have said repeatedly, a level playing
field is an essential foundation of a healthy competitive market
and one that truly works for all stakeholders. Without question,
the Code helps build that by re-establishing choice and
transparency in the marketplace for merchants and consumers, which
we support.

“Clear information about service offerings and
their associated costs, and allowing stakeholders to make informed
choices should be hallmarks of Canada’s debit system. “They are
certainly at the heart of the Interac business model,”
O’Connell added.

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The Interac network allows Canadians to access
their money through Automated Banking Machines and point-of-sale
terminals across Canada.

Almost 60 per cent of all card payment
transactions in Canada are debit. In 2009, consumers carried out
nearly 4 billion debit transactions.