ACS calls for action over ‘anti-competitive’ card fees

The Association for Convenience Stores has called for action over “anti-competitive” card fees.  

The news comes in response to the Payment Systems Regulator’s (PSR) five-year plan, which has received backlash from the small business community. 

According to the association, the PSR has “failed to address the cost of card fees” which are being taken on by struggling businesses, to the cost of £1.3 billion as of 2020.  

Card payments currently account for over 80 per cent of UK sales, and representatives for the retail community are stating that they cannot afford the cost of transactional fees. 

As a result, the British Retail Consortium (BCR) said that these costs, which amount to over £46 per household, will ultimately have to be shouldered by the consumer if action is not taken to reduce card fees. 

READ MORE: Delivery disruption to 1500 convenience stores as Booker drivers strike intensifies

“Convenience retailers play a crucial role in offering customers a breadth of payment options and providing access to cash for consumers in communities right across the country,” ACS chief executive James Lowman said.  

“The PSR is now an established regulator and must act to prevent excessive increases in card scheme fees for debit and credit cards.” 

Federation of Small Business national vice-chair Martin McTague added: “With the shift to contactless accelerating, card transaction charges are weighing heavily on small businesses as they look to recover from 18 months of disruption. 

“The PSR should be doing more to address the surging fees charged by a handful of providers. 

“The fees often hit the small firms that make up 99 per cent of our business community. 

“Greater parliamentary scrutiny of the PSR’s work should help to spur the regulator to set more measurable, concrete aims.” 

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