Canadian Merchant Accounts

Merchant Services in Canada

Canada Credit Card ProcessingMerchants in Canada have more than a few choices when it comes to accepting credit cards. In fact, they may have more choices than in the United States where major bank mergers have limited competition and choices. A credit card processing firm will essentially extend authorization services and make its money on the markup over interchange fees charged by Visa and MasterCard as well as other credit card associations or issuers. There are a few notable differences between processing cards in Canada versus the US, which is why so few American merchant services companies have ventured North of the border. Putting aside for the moment that most people from the US can't name the capital of the Dominion of Canada, more than 2 provinces, or sing more than a few bars of Gordon Lightfoot's Canadian Railroad Trilogy, it is difficult for US telemarketers to fake a convincing regional accent. Most quickly break down into hackneyed jibes about "aboot" and the Mackenzie brothers. Discussing the vagaries of Canadian merchant services regulations, exchange rates, EMV requirements, and the need to use special low-temperature lubricants in credit card terminal printers is totally lost on such people.

Similar Card Brands

When Every Card Has A Chip

To be sure, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and even American Express have a presence in the Great White North. On the back end, Canada has its own debit card networks such as Interac. The banks that handle transactions include Scotiabank, CIBC, BMO Bank of Montreal, Capital One Canada, and MBNA Canada.

In the merchant services industry, aside from the use of EMV cards everywhere, Canada credit card processing is pretty much the same as it is in Australia, the UK, and Europe. Acquirers generally work with independent sales organizations to provide terminals, support, and processing services. Some known acquirers and processors in Canada include the Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, Desjardins, Peoples Trust, and TD Canada Trust. .

To set up a merchant account in Canada, a person will usually need identification, a voided cheque from the business, a balance sheet, and a certificate of incorporation or business registration. It usually takes about 5 business days to get approved.