C-store body calls for visible and fair card fees

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Association of Convenience Stores(ACS) has called for the regulator to prioritise reducing the cost of anti-competitive and opaque card scheme fees.  

ACS has raised the demand while responding to a consultation from the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) on its five-year strategy. 

ACS chief executive James Lowman said that 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.

“The Payment Systems Regulator is right to prioritise securing long-term access to cash through its work with the Link ATM network and encouraging innovation to reduce processing costs for retailers, which are ultimately shared with customers too,” Lowman said, adding that PSR is now an established regulator and must act to prevent excessive increases in card scheme fees for debit and credit cards.

“The card acquirer review is a positive step but needs implementing so that retailers can shop around and switch card payments providers, securing the best deals for them and their customers,” he said.

In its submission, ACS has urged the PSR to work with the HM Treasury to ensure access to cash legislation does not undermine the sustainability of the LINK ATM network and encouraged them to proceed with implementing remedies from its market review into card acquiring services to help retailers effectively compare and switch providers.

The submission also highlights rising fees to process card payments, which are unavoidable for retailers and ultimately partly passed onto consumers.