The “processing fee” or “convenience fee” still hurts the same painful way no matter what you want to call it.
This is something Telus customers will now have to face. The company announced that starting on Oct. 17, customers who pay their monthly service bills through a credit card will have a 1.5 per cent “Credit Card Processing Fee” added to their bill.
According to Telus, the fee is to cover the cost of processing credit card payments and the percentage is not more than how much it costs the company to accept payment through a credit card.
After all these years, why is a processing fee something Telus is trying to implement into bills? According to the Retail Council of Canada, it would cost a business around $10 to process a $500 transaction through a credit card.
It’s expensive for businesses to process credit card payments, but it’s unreasonable to put it on the customer. Canadians already pay one of the highest interchange rates in the world. This is because the bigger credit card companies are charging more money for retail and businesses to process customers credit card payments. The high costs are affecting everyone — from the businesses and retailers to the customers who are charged these “processing fees.”
Telus charging customers a 1.5 per cent extra to process their credit card bills does not fix the problem. It only makes things more expensive for customers who have no control over the amount big credit card companies and banks charge Telus.
Although Telus gives alternatives to customers who want to avoid the extra fees like paying through their banks, Visa Debit, or prepaid credit cards, some customers prefer to pay with their credit cards. Whether to build their credit score or protect themselves from fraudulent charges.
This increase by Telus seems like another way to charge customers more money after their steep monthly service bills.
Telus is one of the three biggest phone and internet providers in the country, behind Rogers Communications and Bell Canada. Focusing only on the monthly phone bill charges from Telus, customers are usually looking at monthly bills that start at $50. A 1.5 per cent processing fee might not sound like a lot, but the higher your monthly service bills are, the more you pay in the processing fee.
Some customers might not find the processing fee as big of a deal, but it’s not something to gloss over. Everyday customers are not the reason for the high cost of processing fees companies have to pay. This is a problem created by the credit card companies and their banks. Everyday people who aren’t connected to the problem at all shouldn’t have to pay for it by being charged extra every time they use their credit cards.
The processing fee also does not seem to consider people who need to use their credit cards to pay bills in general. Yes, a customer can use other methods to pay their Telus bills, but they shouldn’t have to simply because the company doesn’t want to pay the amount it costs to process a credit card payment.
According to a 2020 report by Rewheel, Telus, along with Bell Canada and Rogers Communications, have the “least competitive monthly prices.” Since they are The Big Three, Canadians are left with fewer companies to turn to when looking for cheaper and reliable options.
Telus’s revenue in 2021 was $17.26 billion, I’m sure they can afford to pay the credit card processing fees. If it’s too much for them, they can take it up with the credit card companies and banks, or the department of finance since they recently discussed how transaction fees can be decreased for merchants, instead of adding the charge to their customers’ already expensive bills.