Card payments now account for over 75% of retail sales

Card is continuing to be the dominant form of payment in the UK, as payments using plastic now account for over 75% of all retail sales.

According to the BRC's latest annual Payments Survey, cash payments fell yet again by 1%, now only accounting for 22% of all retail sales.

But the rising cost of accepting cards is a big concern for retailers. The survey reported that the industry spent nearly £1 billion processing card payments in 2017. The BRC is calling on the government and payments regulators to address the problem of increased fees.

“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,” said Andrew Cregan, head of payments and consumer credit at BRC.

“In fact many smaller retailers have questioned whether savings were ever passed on by card companies. 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.”