COVID-19 Business Reminder – Payment Methods

April 2, 2020

A number of businesses including restaurants and fast food outlets may have changed, or are considering changing, their business models, including how they take payments from consumers in response to the current challenging circumstances. From a consumer’s perspective it is also increasingly likely that the demand for electronic payments through credit/debit cards and other forms of contactless payments has increased and will increase further in the coming weeks. Consumer law requires that businesses provide adequate and accurate information so that consumers can make informed decisions. Despite the current circumstances, consumer protection law still applies.

Specifically, if you are a business and you are requiring particular payment methods – whether that is cash or card only – then it is essential that you tell your customers at the earliest opportunity. This is particularly the case where consumers wish to order goods either online or over the phone. In the current circumstances informing consumers early in the ordering process provides them with the information required by law so that they can choose whether they are happy with the payment method which is offered. This is especially important in the case of cash only payment methods where a consumer needs to decide if they are willing to use an ATM or handle cash. In addition to ensuring that no disappointment or misunderstanding occurs at the point of sale, this also ensures that businesses do not run the risk of enforcement action by the CCPC.

More information about business’s obligations under consumer protection law is available here.

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