Telus Can Charge 1.5% Credit Card Fee to Most without CRTC Approval

Telus recently started charging a 1.5% fee for customers paying bills with their Visa or Mastercard, a move the company recently called “just and reasonable.”

Now, according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the regulator clarifies Telus doesn’t need permission to charge most of its customers.

“It is really restricted to some rural exchange areas where there’s no competition, because the CRTC does not regulate areas where it seems there’s enough market forces and competition,” said CRTC media relations manager, Patricia Valladao, speaking with The Financial Post.

“It gets confusing for everybody else because they probably think the CRTC has the power to say no, but the reality is we do not for the areas we don’t regulate the company,” added Valladao.

So what areas does the CRTC regulate that will have a decision on the Telus credit card fee? Some small areas in rural parts of B.C. and Alberta. The regulator will make its final decision on the Telus credit card fee by December 6, 2022.

While Telus is one of the only businesses to implement a credit card fee for bill payments. The fee won’t apply to Koodo customers or Quebec.

How to avoid this credit card fee from Telus? The company has told customers they should consider “using alternative payment options.” These include one-time payments at your bank, recurring bank payments through pre-authorized debit, or Visa Debit, Visa Prepaid, and Mastercard Prepaid cards.

The only reason companies such as Telus can charge a credit card processing fee, is because of a recent class-action lawsuit settlement involving Visa and Mastercard over these surcharges. New rules started on October 6, allowing businesses to charge a credit card processing fee.

Telus previously told iPhone in Canada in a statement, “this fee helps us recover a portion of the processing costs we incur to accept credit card payments, and the average cost will be around $2 for most customers.”