Mobile Commerce

Canada combats imaginary Google Wallet fees

Canada is eyeing regulations that would allow retailers to avoid fees from mobile payment services that don’t actually exist yet, a recent report states.

Officials are considering a proposal that would allow retailers to reject Google Wallet as stores raise fears that accepting the payment system will lead to higher interchange fees. Retailers currently pay the same processing fees with Google Wallet as they do with physical debit and credit cards, but reports say merchants are worried that as mobile payments gain in popularity, credit card companies will raise the fees that go along with them.

Canada’s latest plan wouldn’t ban card companies from hiking their fees, but it would allow stores to refuse Google Wallet – and other incoming mobile payment products – as a form of payment.

The proposals even go one step further to allow retailers to cancel transactions made with Google Wallet after a fee increase, should it ever happen.

Government officials could announce the proposals as soon as next week.

North American retailers have not taken kindly to the introduction of mobile payment systems like Google Wallet and, more recently, Apple Pay.

In the US, retail giants CVS and Rite Aid recently announced that they would not be accepting Apple Pay as a form of payment. Experts say those retailers are not concerned about possible raises in processing fees, but are instead looking to gain a competitive edge.

CVS and Rite Aid are both part of the Merchant Customer Exchange, which itself is gearing up to release its own rival mobile payment service CurrentC.

The dispute in the US could run into regulatory issues down the road, but whether officials will follow their Canadian counterparts in facilitating retailers’ rejection of mobile payment systems is yet to be seen.


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