TORONTO, Ontario — Credit card companies VISA and Mastercard have announced they will voluntarily lower their interchange fees, effective by April 2015, according to a press release.

President of the Canadian Convenience Stores Association (CCSA) Alex Scholten acknowledged in the release that swipe fees in Canada are among the highest in the world.

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“We thank Minister Oliver and Finance Canada for their attention and efforts to address our concerns regarding these fees,” he said in the release.

The decision by the card companies also includes a five-year freeze on rates, which “have risen sharply over the past several years,” stated the release.

Although the change will give retailers extra funds to use in hiring more employees, investing and reducing prices, Scholten added in the release that the reduction in the rate to 1.5 [percent] will not offer major relief.

Click here to read the entire release.