Paiement préautorisé ou chèque en blanc? (in French only)


Luc Rochefort


Union des consommateurs




The number of pre-authorized debit payments drawn on consumer accounts has grown exponentially over recent years. Rising from 76.7 million to 370. 3 million yearly transactions per year from 1990 to 2000, the annual volume of pre-authorized debit payments in Canada stood at 467.2 million transactions in 2003. It is the Canadian Payments Association (CPA) which sets the rules and standards for the exchange of payments between member institutions. One of these rules concerns procedures for compensating and processing pre-authorized debits. This rule (Rule H1) came into effect in 2003: It also imposes numerous formalities on creditors, such as those connected with settling disputes with consumers who contest the debit made. Though the consumer does have recourse in case of disputes or litigation, it is essential that he and the other parties involved be correctly informed of this fact if he is to exercise his rights. This research thus examines the information consumers receive concerning potential disputes over automatic debits from their personal accounts and looks at the way these direct debits from credit cards are handled. To this end, the Union des consommateurs conducted several surveys: (1) with 27 organizations specializing in budget consultation in 3 different provinces; (2) with 43 branches of 8 large Canadian financial institutions in the Maritimes, in Ontario, and in Quebec; (3) with head offices; (4) with Visa and MasterCard; and (5) by means of 8 control operations in branches.

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French only

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

Contact information

Union des consommateurs
7000 Parc Ave, Suite 201
Montreal, QC  H3N 1X1
(514) 521-6820
(514) 521-0736

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

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