The Incredible Sad Tale of a Doomed Code: the trial and tribulations of implementing the Code of Practice for Consumer Debit Cards (in French only)


Jacques Saint Amant


Option consommateurs




Fourteen years after its adoption, the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Debit Cards is still misunderstood and unloved. This is a sorry fate for a prescriptive instrument that was intended to be both innovative and reassuring for the users of the electronic payment mechanisms that have been unleashed on the market on a scale that could scarcely have been imagined in 1992. First, the report describes how matters stand and who is involved and presents this Code which is at the heart of the study. Option consommateurs then proceeds with a two-stage analysis. Investigators visited 12 financial institutions in the Montreal area in early 2005 to open accounts and obtain debit cards. Bank staff thereupon gave them certain information about the use of such cards — perhaps. The purpose of these visits was to obtain copies of the contracts actually applied by these institutions to govern their relations with Canadian consumers with respect to the use of debit cards. These are standard contracts, and it is reasonable to assume that the same instruments are used at any given time in practically all the offices of a financial institution or group of institutions. In the last part of the report, Option consommateurs endeavours to describe where things stand 12 years after the Code was adopted.

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French only

OCA Funded Research
This research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.

Contact information

50 Sainte-Catherine street West, Suite 440
Montreal, Quebec
H2X 3V4
(514) 598-7288
(514) 598-8511

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

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