The British Retail Consortium is calling on Visa to justify its ‘card scheme’ fees, which are reported to have risen by 142 per cent.
It is estimated that the bill for UK retailers could be around £20 million more than at Visa’s previous rate.
Also, according to the BRC, another charge used by Visa – the interchange fee – is currently being investigated by the European Commission and the Office of Fair Trading.
Stephen Robertson, BRC Director General, said: "Visa’s card scheme fees hike is totally unjustified. At a time when technological advances have dramatically reduced the cost of processing card transactions, we’d expect card charges to fall – not shoot up.
"Retailers are already dealing with tough trading conditions and shoppers are also watching the pennies. As Visa ramps up its fees it will hit retailers at a time when they can least afford it, while pushing up shop prices and hurting cost conscious customers.
"Visa’s fees should be transparent and must only include charges that truly reflect the costs involved in processing transactions."