Card payments on retail sales reached 76% in the UK last year. In parallel, British Retail Consortium reported the rise of payment processing fees by £170 million, approaching £1 billion per annum. The BRC is pointing to card scheme fees for the 39% increase in 2017 – fees paid to financial institutions behind the payment network.
The head of BRC Andrew Cregan claimed that savings initially made by the retail industry and consumers thanks to the EU payments services directive, were lost due to the rise in card fees. Many UK retailers wonder in fact if those benefits have been indirectly passed on to card companies. The group is asking that the government intervene to prevent any further increase in fees and to simplify the system in general.
Unfortunately, forecasts project the doubling of domestic Visa and MasterCard fees in 2018. The growing adoption of card payments did not stop Britons from spending reaching 20 billion transactions per year or 40.000 a minute. Meanwhile, the BRC reported a 4.3% rise in total UK retail sales in 2017.