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CRTC rejects Telus' request to charge processing fee on credit card payments

Telecommunications signs in Toronto

(Reuters) - A Canadian regulator said on Thursday it had rejected Telus Corp's request to charge a processing fee on credit card payments made by customers for its telecom services in Alberta and British Columbia provinces.

Canadian businesses, outside of Quebec, were allowed to pass on a fee for credit card transactions from Oct. 6, after a class-action lawsuit by retailers against Visa, MasterCard and card-issuing banks was settled.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said it was "very concerned about this practice as it goes against affordability and consumer interest", adding that the practice impacts consumers who rely on credit cards to pay their everyday bills.

The agency added that Telus had started charging a 1.5% fee on credit card payments in locations that were not under the watchdog's purview, including those outside of Quebec.

The CRTC said it would explore all regulatory options if Telus continued the practice and said its decision was a signal to other telecom service providers to not impose such a fee on consumers.

Telus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)