British Retail Consortium (BRC) has called on the government and the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) to address high card fees.
The move follows the Consortium’s annual Payments Survey that showed retailers incurred approximately £1bn ($1.3bn) for accepting cards last year.
According to the report, the value of card payments constituted three-quarters (75%) of overall retail sales. Customers now using cards for low value payments, which were previously paid via cash, was attributed to this rise.
This surge in card usage had led to rising card costs for retailers. The BRC’s survey found a £170m rise in costs for businesses to process card payments in 2017.
The consortium revealed that the increasing costs were due to payment providers raising their card scheme fees.
BRC head of payments and consumer credit Andrew Cregan said: “EU payment regulation introduced in 2015 delivered savings for the retail industry and consumers, but these benefits have now been eroded by increases in other card fees.
“The BRC are now looking to the Government and Regulator to tackle the alarming increases to card scheme fees imposed on retailers, and for action to simplify the complex fees and charges levied by the card payments industry.”
The Payments Survey 2018 analysed the payment methods used by shoppers both in-store and online. It also examined the average cost borne by retailers for each payment method.