"Anyone who accepted Visa or Mastercard credit cards in Canada between March 23, 2001, and September 2, 2021, is eligible to claim settlement benefits."
A group of banks, as well as Visa and Mastercard credit card companies have agreed to a settlement following a class-action lawsuit that alleged they conspired, among other practices, to set high fees for merchants who accepted credit card payments.
The law firms representing the class announced the CA$188 million settlement on Monday. As a stipulation, the defendants, including the aforementioned credit card companies as well as Bank of America, Citigroup, Capital One, Desjardins, National Bank, CIBC, Royal Bank, BMO, TD and Bank of Nova Scotia, do not admit any wrongdoing.
Anyone who accepted a Visa or Mastercard payment between March 23, 2001, and September 2, 2021, can claim a share of the $131 million set aside to compensate affected merchants, the lawyers said in a statement.
For the record, the complete definition of the class, according to the settlement website, is as follows: people who "accept or accepted Visa credit cards and/or Mastercard credit cards as payment for goods or services and incurred merchant discount fees, including interchange fees, in Canada" within that more than 19-year timeframe.
Merchants with average annual revenue of less than $5 million don't even need to submit documents to support their claims. According to the statement, they can get $30 for each year they accepted a Visa or Mastercard payment.
Merchants with between $5 million and $20 million in annual revenue can get $250 for each qualifying year if they have documents to support their claims. "Large merchants," those with more than $20 million in annual revenue, can get the same $250 per qualifying year plus a "proportional share" of the settlement fund with supporting documentation.
Qualifying merchants have until September 30, 2022, to submit their claims. The claim form and complete details about the settlement are available online.