Visa Inc. is expanding a purchase protection policy to cover small-business credit cards in Canada, the San Francisco payments company said Tuesday.

Visa had already offered to Canadian consumers its Zero Liability policy, which requires issuers to refund fraudulent charges to cardholders who notify them of suspicious account activity. Now Visa is extending the policy to business cards from Canadian issuers.

Visa would not say why Zero Liability had not previously been "a standard feature" on Canadian business cards. A Visa spokesman wrote in an e-mail: "Visa and its issuers identified the addition of Zero Liability as an opportunity to increase the value of Visa business cards to small businesses."

Kareem Chouli, Visa's head of commercial solutions in Canada, said in a press release that adding Zero Liability gives small-business owners "another reason … to use a Visa card with confidence."

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