Guide for aggregate reporting for payment card network operators

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

This reporting guide has been created by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) to assist payment card network operators (PCNOs) and acquirers when reporting Code-related complaints as required under Element 13 of the Code. In order to ensure common complaint data is reported, this reporting guide and template form were created to identify PCNO and acquirer responsibilities.

The form and guide will be accessible through FCAC’s website for PCNOs to use. The form contains all elements of the Code in addition to public commitments. PCNOs can modify the form for acquirer use as some elements may not apply to acquirers.

Confident​ialit​y

Should information be provided to a PCNO that is not pertinent, PCNOs should have a procedure to manage returning the documentation or deleting the confidential information.

Element 13 r​​equirement

Payment card networks must be informed in writing of the aggregate number of any Code-related complaints received by acquirers, the nature of the merchant complaints and the outcomes on a semi-annual basis. The payment card networks will also share the above information with FCAC, as well as aggregate information on ​complaints resolved by the payment card networks.

Compla​​ints 

  • Reportable complaints must be Code-related​.
  • Only complaints where merchants have received a final response are to be reported; do not report on active complaints. Active complaints should be carried over to the next reporting period.
  • The reports from acquirers to the PCNO should be forwarded to FCAC as individual reports; they should not be consolidated.
  • If no complaints were received during the period, acquirers and PCNOs are required to produce a nil report. ​

Acquirer resp​onsibilities​

Element 13 requirements on aggregate reporting​ Instructions and reporting deadlines​​

Inform PCNO​s on a semi-annual basis of Code-related complaints recei​​ved​

Filing date ​o​​f merchant complaints:

  • Received between April and September: due to PCNO by Nov. 30
  • Rece​ived between October and March: due to PCNO by May 31

Report the aggregate number of co​mplaints​

Send the aggrega​​te number of merchant complaints received by acquirers to the appropriate PCNO on a semi-annual ​basis​​ as described above.​

Private inform​​ation is not to be divulged to other PCNOs.

Report the nature of​ compl​​aints

Use the attached self-reporting template classifications to report the​​ nature of complaints and see the Self-reporting Guide for​​ assistance on completing the template.

Report outcomes of​ comp​​laints

Indicate the num​ber of merchant complaints in compliance or not in com​​pliance with the Code in the appropriate column.​

PCNO re​​sponsibilities

Element 13 requirements on aggregate reporting​​ Instructions and reporting deadlines​​

Provide FCAC with the information provided by acquirers as stipulated a​​bove

Filings rece​​ived by acquirers:

  • Nov. 30: filing due to FCAC by Dec. 30
  • ​May 31: filing due to FCAC by June 30

​Report aggregate information on com​​plaints resolved by the payment card networks

PCNOs are to use the same Self-reporting template and G​​uide as acquirers.

Indicate the number of merchant complaints in compliance or not in compliance with the Code in the appropriate column.

Filing dat​​e of merchant complaints received directly by PCNOs:

  • received between April and September: due to FCAC by Dec. 30
  • ​received between October and March: due to FCAC by June 30

PCNOs are to report complaints sent by merchants directly to PCNOs and those escalated ​​to the PCNO following the acquirer’s investigation process.

This does not include complaints received directly from FCAC.

Reportable Complaints R​​eport Guide for the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada​​​​​

Clas​​sification Defi​​nition  Section

Agre​e​ments

Failure to provide a sufficient level of detail in agreements a​​nd to make them easy to understand.

Failure to provide agreements, including a cover page containing an information summary box that provides key elements of the contract in a consolidated fashion and a fee disclosure box.

Failure to disclose all other fees (e.g. monthly minimums, administration fees, etc.).

 

E​​1

​Cancellation/renewal

Failure to allow merchants to provide notice of non-renewal at any p​​oint during the contract period up to 90 days prior to contract expiry.

Failure to present cancellation and renewal terms and conditions in a manner that is clear, simple and not misleading.

Failure to convert fixed-term contracts to automatically renewable contract extensions of no longer than six months instead of automatic renewal for the full initial term.

 

E1​​2

Choice of accepting debit, credit​​ or mobile payments

Obligating merc​​hants to accept a payment method (debit/credit) from the same payment card network. This applies to the mobile environment.

 

E​​4

Clear and simple​​ language

Failure to di​​sclose in language and present information in a manner that is clear, simple and not misleading.

 

E1 to E1​​3

Competing domestic debit applicat​ions

Offering comp​​eting domestic applications from different networks on the same debit card.

Failure to provide separate payments applets for debit payment credentials from payment card networks in mobile wallets or mobile devices.

 

​​E6

Complaint ​procedures

Failu​​re to establish an internal complaint handling process.

Failure to make information on processes easily available to merchants.

Failure to provide merchants with a summary of the complaint handling process.

Failure to post the complaint handling process prominently on websites.

Failure to acknowledge receipt of a merchant complaint within five business days.​

Failure to provide a final decision within 90 days of receiving a merchant complaint.

Failure to inform the merchant of a delay if a response cannot be provided within 90 days.

Failure to provide the aggregate number of Code-related complaints.

E1​​3

Discou​​nt​s

Failure to​​ allow merchants to provide discounts.

 

E​​5

Equal brandi​​ng

Failure to ensure that co-badged debit cards are equally br​​anded.

Failure to clearly identify and make equally prominent all representations of payment applets, and the payment card network brands associated with them, in a mobile wallet or mobile device. 

 

E​​7

Fee changes and penalty

Failure to allow a merchant to cancel its contract, including related ser​​vice contracts, without penalty as a result of a fee increase or new fee (if merchant has cancelled within 90 days of fee change).

Failure to describe the nature of the fee change.

Failure to clearly identify the fee change on the subsequent monthly statement.

Failure to provide an updated fee disclosure box reflecting the impact, upon written request from the merchant, following a new fee or fee increase.

 

E​​3

Fees: no advance notice

Failure t​​o provide advance notification of new fees or increased fees, including interchange reduction.

Failure to provide advance notification of structural changes.

 

E​​2

Information to FCAC

Failure to provide FCAC with any requested inform​​ation regarding actions taken by themselves or participants.

 

E​​13

Interchange rate reduction and pass-through

Failure to d​​escribe the nature of the interchange rate.

Failure to clearly identify the fee change on the subsequent monthly statement.

Failure to allow a merchant to cancel its contract, including related service contracts, as a result of a reduction in interchange rate (if merchant has cancelled within 90 days of the change and the interchange rate has not been passed through).

 

E2 ​​and E3

Mobile acce​​ptance

Obligating merchants to accept contactless payments or upgrade​​s to terminals to accept contactless payments.

Failure to allow merchants to cancel the contactless acceptance on their terminal for each payment card network, with 30 days’ notice, while maintaining all other aspects of their existing contract without penalty.

Failure to allow merchants to cancel mobile acceptance if there is a fee increase in respect of mobile relative to card contactless payments.

 

E​​11

Neg​ative option

Failure to obtain express consent from merchants to accept n​​ew products or services.

 

E1​​0

Premium products

Providing premium credit and debit cards to consu​​mers who have not applied for or consented to such cards.

Failure to clearly indicate that premium cards or payment applets are premium products.

Failure to disclose prominently on premium card applications that premium cards can impose higher card acceptance costs on merchants.

 

E​​8

Separate cards/default settings

Failure to ensure that debit and credit card functions do not co-res​ide on the same payment ca​​rd.

Failure to give consumers full and unrestricted control over default settings on mobile devices and mobile wallets to select debit or credit payments applets.

Failure to allow consumers to select which payment applets shall be used for contactless payments.

Failure to issue credit and debit payment credentials to mobile devices or mobile wallets that do not have pre-set default preferences that cannot be changed and that provide consumers full and unrestricted discretion to establish any default preference(s) for payment options.

 

E​​8

State​ment

Failure to provide a sufficient level of detail and make state​​ments easy to understand.

Failure to include required information on statements (e.g. EMDR, Interchange rate, etc.).

Failure to present statements in a manner that is clear, simple and not misleading.

 

E​​1

W​ebsite

F​ailure to include interchange rates and to post upcoming ​​changes to these fees on websites.​

 

E​1

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