Evidence of meeting #17 for Industry, Science and Technology in the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was interchange.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Kevin Stanton  President, MasterCard Canada
  • Andrea Cotroneo  Vice-President and Canada Region Counsel, MasterCard Canada
  • Tim Wilson  Head, Visa Canada
  • Bill Sheedy  Regional President, North America and Head of Interchange Strategy, Visa Canada

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Co-Chair James Rajotte

Briefly, Mr. Stanton, please.

3:55 p.m.

President, MasterCard Canada

Kevin Stanton

Yes, there are several...[Technical Difficulty--Editor]

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Co-Chair James Rajotte

I'm sorry, Mr. Stanton. Would you begin your answer again?

3:55 p.m.

President, MasterCard Canada

Kevin Stanton

There are two pivotal works on this. One was done by the government accounting office in the United States. There was another work by the CRA. We provided copies to members of Parliament, but we will resubmit them to this committee, if you'd like. Both of them show that prices didn't come down but that benefits/rewards did go down. Interest rates went up. Fees went up. And there was reduced competition in the market.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Co-Chair James Rajotte

Merci.

Mr. Stanton, before I go to Mr. Wallace, can we get the website address? Perhaps someone on your staff could provide it to the clerk. Our understanding was that MasterCard's fees were not on the Internet. But if they are, we'd be happy to distribute that to all members.

3:55 p.m.

President, MasterCard Canada

Kevin Stanton

Absolutely. It's mastercard.ca. But it's a little more complicated. You have to type “/merchants”. We'll get it to you, absolutely.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Co-Chair James Rajotte

Okay. If you can provide it, we'd appreciate that.

Mr. Wallace, please, for seven minutes.

May 14th, 2009 / 3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

And I thank our guests for coming today. You may have avoided another meeting, but you couldn't avoid this one. So I appreciate your coming.

In terms of clarification for me, are your customers the banks, or are your customers the people who hold the cards?

3:55 p.m.

President, MasterCard Canada

Kevin Stanton

They're banks, both merchant banks and cardholder banks.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

The structure of this business is something new to me and it's something to get used to. We have you at the top of the food chain, in a sense--the actual card companies, whether it's MasterCard or Visa in this case. Then there are the banks, then the processors or acquirers, then the retailers, and then the consumers. Would you say that's an accurate statement?

3:55 p.m.

President, MasterCard Canada

Kevin Stanton

It's a two-sided equation. You have a cardholder, an issuing bank, and MasterCard on one side. Then on the other side you have a merchant, an acquirer, and MasterCard.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Okay. The reason I'm asking that question is that I'm going to ask a few questions about those I consider to be our consumers, those who actually hold the cards at the end of the day.

I look at...I guess it's the Bank of Montreal's MasterCard. I don't know who else carries MasterCard, but I know the Bank of Montreal does. As a consumer, I look at the writing on these applications, which is so small that.... Well, I'm 45 and I can't read it.

So for those who are older or younger, whose decision is it, in terms of information to the actual person who will be paying the bill, that this information is here? Do you require the bank to provide certain information on these documents, or is that completely the bank? And what input do you have on this when somebody is trying to decide whether they should be a MasterCard holder or a Visa cardholder?

3:55 p.m.

President, MasterCard Canada

Kevin Stanton

To answer your technical question, it's the bank that's in control of that document and they have to comply with the law. However, we do play a role. We recently worked with the FCAC to come up with a model disclosure, because we thought the typical practice could be improved.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

As a consumer, can I expect improvements on the information provided to me and the application process for these cards?

3:55 p.m.

President, MasterCard Canada

Kevin Stanton

I think you can. I think this process has produced that.