Our ongoing series moves to Canada, where the average adult Canadian has two or more credit cards.
Credit card circulation
There are about 69 million credit cards in Canada, and the average Canadian adult has 2.7 credit cards. The credit card market grew 31 percent from 2003 to 2008 (Euromonitor International). (Euromonitor International).
To protect and inform
Canada’s government created the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada in 2001, which maintains a database of fees, features and interests rates of about 200 credit cards in an attempt to inform consumers (FCAC).
High interest in paying in full
About 75 percent of Canadian households pay their balances in full each month, which is up from 69 percent in 1999. Because of this, interest rates remain high — about 18 to 20 percent — and services charges are typical (The Toronto Star).
Cards and crime
Attacking small business
According to Visa Canada, about 70 of credit card fraud cases occur to small businesses. They contribute the number to apathy, stating that only 25 percent of Canadian small business owners are concerned about credit card fraud (The Toronto Star).
Nearly $8 million a day stolen
Fraud costs Canadians about $3 billion a year, or $ million a day. The Retail Council of Canada says that amount includes $201 million in credit card fraud and $70 million in debit card fraud, according to the Edmonton Journal.
Canadian fraudsters busted
In July 2008, two Canadian men pleaded guilty to scamming 37,000 U.S. residents out of $10.5 million. The two told consumers with bad credit that they had to buy a $200 “processing fee” for a credit card, or else their credit score would be lowered and they could never apply for another card (St. Louis Business Journal).
Official tourism site
– Explore Canada
Location: North of the conterminous United States, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean on the east and North Pacific Ocean on the west (map)
Population: 33 million (July 2008)
Internet users: 28 million (June 2008)
Area: 3,855,102 sq. miles (slightly larger than the United States)
GDP: US$1.2 trillion (2007 estimate)
Currency: Canadian dollar (CAD)
Key exports: US$431 billion of motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, aircraft, telecommunications equipment; chemicals, plastics, fertilizers; wood pulp
Key imports: US$386 billion of motor vehicles and parts, crude oil, chemicals