The Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) is set to carry out a market review into card-payment services to ensure they work in the interests of retailers.

Card payments are critical to the smooth running of the UK economy, with 13.2 billion payments made by debit card and 3.1 billion by credit card in 2017, according to the PSR.

“With more and more of us using our payment cards to make purchases, we want to make sure that retailers that accept card payments can access card-acquiring services that are competitive, offer value for money and are innovative - working in both their interests, and consumers’ interests too,” said Hannah Nixon, Managing Director of the Payment Systems Regulator.

“This is about making sure that payment systems work well for everyone, and we will look to make changes if we think improvements should be made.”

The draft terms of reference set out the PSR’s proposed approach to the market review, which includes looking at:

  • the nature and characteristics of card-acquiring services;
  • who provides card-acquiring services and how their market shares have developed historically;
  • how merchants buy card-acquiring services;
  • whether there are credible alternatives to card-acquiring services for some or all merchants;
  • the outcomes of the competitive process including the fees merchants pay and the quality of service they receive.

The draft terms of reference for the market review is open for consultation until 14 September 2018.