BRC calls for action on card fees

The British Retail Consortium’s latest Payment Survey published today reported that credit card spending overtook cash spending in 2018. Debit cards remain the most popular method of payment, accounting for nearly three in five transactions. Over the past five years the use of cash payment fallen steadily from over 50% of all transactions in 2014 to less than 40% in 2018. The value of the cash transactions has also fallen during the same period from 25% to 20%.

There were 20.1 billion transactions in 2018 (more than 55 million a day) up from 19.8 billion in 2017. Card costs continue to rise with retailed spending £1.3 billion with third parties in 2018. Each transaction cost retailers an average of 5.85 pence, up 17% on 2017. These additional costs are largely driven by the fees paid by businesses to credit and debit card companies.

Andrew Cregan, Policy Advisor Payments and Consumer Credit, said:

‘With card payments accounting for almost 80% of retail sales, it is vital that the Government takes action to tackle the soaring costs that card companies charge retailers. Without action we will see businesses put under further pressure and it will be consumers who are forced to pay the price.’