Current AffairsRetailers

Debit cards overtake cash as a payment method

For the first time ever, cards have overtaken cash as the most common payment method, reports the The British Retail Consortium (BRC). Its annual Payments Survey revealed that cards now account for more than 50 percent of all retail transactions by volume.

The BRC credits retailers’ investment in payment technology as one of the driving forces for changing customer behaviour in store and online.

However, processing cards remains a significant area of expenditure. Retailers spent over £1 billion last year to accept customer payments. The cost of processing credit cards remains particularly high, although customers were found to be moving away from reliance on credit for day-to-day purchases.

BRC Policy Advisor, Payments and Consumer Credit Andrew Cregan, said: “A growing number of retailers have invested in payment technology to accept cards, contactless payments and new payment applications both online and in store.

“In part, this has been facilitated by the Interchange Fee Regulation (IFR), which was introduced across the European Union following a successful campaign by the BRC and has led to a significant fall in the cost of collection that benefits retailers and their customers.

“Looking ahead, the Government should act to retain the benefits of the IFR for retailers and their customers after the UK leaves the EU and introduce further regulatory action to address the alarming increase in other card fees and charges at a time when the retail industry is facing acute cost pressures elsewhere.”

For more information or to read the full report go to www.brc.org.uk.  

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