A recent public opinion survey commissioned by the Western Convenience Stores Association (WCSA) indicates most British Columbians are aware of the high credit card transaction fees facing retailers, and understand that these fees can negatively impact small businesses and their customers.
Abacus Data conducted this survey in British Columbia to determine the level of public awareness and support for retailers when it comes to credit card fees, among other issues, in the province.
Here are the key survey findings:
88% of survey respondents indicated they are aware retailers are charged for every transaction involving a credit card, even though this fee is not advertised to consumers. A major class action suit against VISA and MasterCard started by BC retailers may have increased awareness of this issue in the province.
65% deemed the 2.4% average net credit card fee charged to Canadian c-store retailers unfair, a powerful result demonstrating the majority of British Columbians feel strongly about the issue and can see how it affects profitability.
50% believe credit card fees have a major impact on the prices they pay, while 43% feel they have a minor impact. As respondents are more divided on this issue, we suggest retailers educate their customers as to how these fees affect their ability to provide value back to their shoppers.
63% said they would strongly support the federal government reviewing the amount credit card companies can charge when a customer uses a credit card in a store, with another 23% somewhat supporting this action. Only 4% of British Columbians were opposed to government review of the current credit card fees in the province.
The WCSA is encouraged by these results, and will look to present this latest information regarding credit card fees and public awareness to government to try to improve the fee structure for our retailers.
1,004 British Columbians completed this survey, conducted by Abacus Data, between November 16 and 20 in 2012, using an online panel of more than 150,000 Canadians. The survey sample was representative of British Columbia’s population aged 18 and over.