Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is this lawsuit about?

    Class action lawsuits were commenced in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Ontario (collectively, the “Credit Card Actions”) against Visa Canada Corporation (“Visa”), Mastercard International Incorporated (“Mastercard”) and certain banks which issue credit cards (“Issuing Banks”).

    The Credit Card Actions allege that Visa and Mastercard conspired with Issuing Banks and acquirers to set the amount of interchange fees and impose rules that restrict merchants’ ability to surcharge or refuse higher cost Visa and Mastercard credit cards.

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  2. What is the Settlement about?

    Although Royal Bank of Canada, The Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bank of Montreal and The Bank of Nova Scotia (collectively, the “Settling Defendants”) do not admit liability, they have agreed to settle the Credit Card Actions (the “Settlement”).

    The Settling Defendants will pay a total of CAD $120 million for the benefit of the Settlement Class Members in exchange for the dismissal of the Credit Card Actions and other related litigation and a full release of all claims advanced against each of them, including future claims relating to continuing acts or practices that occurred prior to or following the commencement of the Credit Card Actions.

    The Settling Defendants deny the allegations in the Credit Card Actions and there has not been any finding of liability against them.

    If the Settlement is approved, the Class Lawyers will ask the Courts to approve some deductions from the Settlement Amounts, including costs incurred to distribute notices and process opt-out requests, comments and objections; the Class Lawyers’ fee of up to 30% of the Settlement; and disbursements.

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  3. What were the Prior Settlements?

    A number of settlements have already been approved in the Credit Card Actions. The Courts have previously approved settlement agreements with BofA Canada Bank, Bank of America Corporation, Citigroup, Capital One Financial Corporation, Capital One Bank Canada (Canada Branch), Fédération des Caisses Desjardins du Québec, National Bank of Canada, Visa, and Mastercard. The prior settlements have a total value of $68,530,000 plus accrued interest. The Courts have already approved some deductions from that amount, including the fees of the Class Lawyers and expenses associated with processing the settlements. Information about the prior settlements is available on this website on the “Documents” page.

    The net proceeds from the prior settlements have been held by the Class Lawyers and will be distributed to Settlement Class Members along with the proceeds from the Settlement with the Settling Defendants.

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  4. Am I part of this Settlement?

    The Court-approved definition of “Settlement Class Member” sets out who can share in the Settlement. You are a Settlement Class Member if you 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 since March 23, 2001.

    The Settlement Class includes Quebec Settlement Class Members. Quebec Settlement Class Members are Quebec resident persons and partnerships who accepted Visa and/or Mastercard credit cards as payment for goods or services and incurred merchant discount fees, including interchange fees, any time since March 23, 2001, through to the date of the final certification order, which has not yet been granted. Quebec Settlement Class Members have different participation options that are set out below.

    Because of Quebec law, it is possible that some Quebec residents will not be Quebec Settlement Class Members. Instead, this group will be treated like Settlement Class Members resident in the rest of Canada. While this does not impact entitlement to settlement benefits, it does mean that the unique participation options for Quebec Settlement Class Members are not available to this group. This group includes any legal persons established for a private interest and any partnership resident in Quebec, which at any time between December 17, 2009, and December 17, 2010, had under its direction or control more than 50 persons bound to it by contract of employment, and any legal persons established for a public interest resident in Quebec.

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  5. How can I participate in the Settlement?

    Settlement Class Members who want to participate in the Settlement and in the Credit Card Actions do not need to do anything at this time. However, you should register on this website so that you receive direct notice of any important developments, including when to make a claim for a share of the settlement benefits. You can register by clicking the “Register” tab at the top of this page.

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  6. Can I exclude myself from the Settlement?

    Merchants who do not want to participate in the Credit Card Actions and in any approved settlements have to opt out (exclude themselves). The rules about opting out of the Credit Card Actions and settlements in Quebec are different than in the other provinces.

    Quebec Settlement Class Members have an opportunity to opt out with each settlement. Settlement Class Members in the rest of Canada are only given one opportunity to opt out. In all cases, once a Settlement Class Member chooses to opt out, they cannot opt back into the Credit Card Actions.

    For most Settlement Class Members, the right to opt out of the Credit Card Actions has now expired. It was provided with the first settlements that were approved. It is no longer possible for these Settlement Class Members to opt out.

    The only Settlement Class Members who can choose to opt out now are:

    • Quebec Settlement Class Members; and
    • Persons who only began accepting Visa and/or Mastercard credit cards after May 31, 2018 (“New Merchants”).

    If you are a Quebec Settlement Class Member or a New Merchant who wants to opt out, you must fill out the opt out form here. The deadline is December 5, 2021.

    Even if you do not opt out, you can provide the Courts with a written comment or objection to the Settlement. All Settlement Class Members can provide written comments or objections. You can also attend the approval hearing. If you want to deliver a written comment or objection, you must send it to Epiq by December 5, 2021, at or by attending the hearing.

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  7. What are the consequences of opting out?

    For Quebec Settlement Class Members

    By opting out, you are choosing not to take part in the Settlement.

    Quebec Settlement Class Members who opt out will not be bound by the Settlement or the release in the Settlement, but will also not be entitled to share in any of the money available to merchants as part of the Settlement.

    Quebec Settlement Class Members who opt out of the Settlement will still be bound by the prior settlements and the releases given to other parties in those settlements, and will be entitled to share in the proceeds available to merchants as part of those settlements.

    For New Merchants

    By opting out, you are choosing not to take part in any of the prior settlements or in this Settlement.

    New Merchants who opt out will not be bound by the prior settlements or this Settlement or the releases in those settlements, but will also not be entitled to share in any of the money available to merchants as part of those settlements.

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  8. What are the consequences of NOT opting out?

    For Quebec Settlement Class Members

    Quebec Settlement Class Members who do not opt out will be bound by the Settlement and the releases in it, and will be entitled to share in the money available to merchants as part of the Settlement.

    For New Merchants

    New Merchants who do not opt out will be bound by the prior settlements and the Settlement, and the releases in them, and will be entitled to share in any of the proceeds that will become available to merchants as part of those settlements.

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  9. Why did I get a notice?

    Notices were sent to merchants who asked to be kept updated about the Credit Card Actions. The notice tells you about your rights and options in the Credit Card Actions and also explains the lawsuit, the proposed settlements, the benefits available, who qualifies for those benefits, and how to participate.

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  10. How will the money from the settlements be distributed?

    If the Settlement is approved, it will bring the Credit Card Actions to an end and will allow the settlement proceeds (less all court-approved fees, costs and expenses) to be distributed to Settlement Class Members. It is estimated that there will be approximately $145,000,000 available for distribution to Settlement Class Members. Details about the plan for distributing that money can be found in the Distribution Plan posted on the “Documents” page of this website.

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  11. What if I do not agree with the Settlement or the Distribution Plan?

    If you wish to provide written comment on or objection to the Settlement or the Distribution Plan, you must do so by contacting the Administrator by December 5, 2021. Comments or objections will be provided to the Court for consideration in whether to approve or reject the Settlement and the Distribution Plan.

    To contact the Administrator, Epiq:
    call: 1 (877) 283-6548 / TTY: 1 (877) 627-7027
    email: info@CreditCardSettlements.ca
    fax: 1-866-262-0816 or write to P.O. Box 507 STN B Ottawa ON K1P 5P6.

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  12. How do I ask for money from the settlements?

    The Class Lawyers have developed a plan for distributing the settlement money to Settlement Class Members. This Distribution Plan has to be approved by the Courts. The proposed Distribution Plan will be posted on this website before the court hearing on December 6, 2021.

    If the plan is approved, more information will be posted on this website letting Settlement Class Members know how and when they can make a claim for compensation.

    If you would like to make sure that you receive direct notice when the claims process opens, please register by clicking on the “Register” tab at the top of this page.

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  13. When and where are the Settlement Approval Hearings?

    At the settlement approval hearing, the Courts will decide if the Settlement, the Class Lawyers’ fee of up to 30% of the recovered amounts, disbursements and other expenses payable from the settlement amount, and the plan for distributing the settlement money should be approved.

    The settlement approval hearing will happen by video on December 6, 2021, at the following times:

    • 9:00 a.m. PST (British Columbia Supreme Court, Vancouver)
    • 10:00 a.m. MST (Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Edmonton)
    • 11:00 a.m. CST (Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan, Regina)
    • 12:00 p.m. EST (Quebec Superior Court, Montreal)
    • 12:00 p.m. EST (Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Toronto).

    If you want to attend the hearing, a link will be posted on this website closer to December 6, 2021.

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  14. How do I get more information?

    For more information, contact the notice/opt-out administrator, Epiq: call: 1 (877) 283-6548 / TTY: 1 (877) 627-7027, email: info@CreditCardSettlements.ca, fax: 1-866-262-0816 or write to P.O. Box 507 STN B Ottawa ON K1P 5P6.

    You can also contact the Class Lawyers (contact information below).

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  15. Who are the lawyers that represent the Settlement Class Members?

    The Class Lawyers can be reached by email at lawyers@creditcardsettlements.ca or by phone at the following numbers:

    For Non-Quebec Residents: For Quebec Residents:
    Luciana Brasil
    Branch MacMaster LLP
    (604) 654-2999
    David Jones
    Camp Fiorante Mathews Mogerman
    (604) 689-7555
    Jeff Orenstein
    Consumer Law Group
    +1 (888) 909-7863 x2

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