Not all merchants will charge their customers for credit

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Not all merchants will charge their customers for credit

Payment by card in a restaurant.

While merchants outside Quebec now have the right to impose additional fees to customers who pay with their credit cards, some in Atlantic Canada wonder if it's really the right thing to do.

I'm not sure it's practical, admits Michel Levasseur, owner of the Carrefour Atlantique bookstore in Halifax.

The vast majority of people have run out of money in their pockets. They walk around with credit cards.

Michel Levasseur is the owner of the bookstore Carrefour Atlantique in Halifax's waterfront tourist district.

He wonders if charging extra fees in his shop is really going to make people change their habits. In his opinion, companies with a greater volume of business are likely to earn more by passing on credit card fees to customers.

Elias Fathallah, on the other hand, is one of the merchants who intend to avail themselves of the right to impose additional fees.

Elias Fathallah, owner of Caribbean Bliss restaurant in Halifax

The owner of Caribbean Bliss restaurant in Halifax actually believes that small businesses need these changes the most because every dollar counts.

I want to charge customers for the credit because I want the restaurant to continue, he says.

He is aware that some customers will be frustrated by this change, but with the inflation and the rising cost of food, he believes he has no choice but to charge customers more to ensure his restaurant's survival.

That's a lot pressure for the company, admits Elias Fathallah.

He still hopes that companies that are making big profits will not impose credit card fees on customers.

Louis-Philippe Gauthier, the vice-president in Atlantic of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, is not surprised that entrepreneurs are divided on the issue.

I would tell you that the last thing entrepreneurs want in general, it is to increase their prices, he says

Our data indicates that this measure will first affect companies that do business with other companies.

Louis-Philippe Gauthier

He believes that it will give entrepreneurs a choice, because for some, whether or not to impose additional fees on card users credit is a matter of survival in these tougher times. A survey of federation members reveals that 19% intend to exercise this right.

Mr. Gauthier also hopes that it will raise awareness among consumers who use their point credit cards a lot.

There are fees associated with all these credit card advantages, remember -he. And there, if it wishes, the company can stop paying these fees.

With information from Paul Légère

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