The British Retail Consortium was due to set out the rising cost of card payments to the sector to the European Court of Justice as Retail Week went to press.

The trade body was due to present its ‘Cost of Collection’ survey to the court on Wednesday, which head of retail payments Richard Braham said shows the increasing cost of card payments over the past few years.

“When things become more efficient, you would not expect prices to rise,” he said.

The evidence formed part of the European Commission’s case against the fees charged by MasterCard.

The card scheme argues that cutting its fees could reduce choice for customers, reducing the number of ways they can pay. It said it needs the extra income to develop payment options.

The payments provider was speaking at its appeal against the European Commission’s 2007 decision on the company’s cross-border consumer interchange fees in the Eurozone. The multilateral interchange fee is added to card payments and critics say it imposes an unseen tax.

Mastercard said in a statement that the Commission is trying to “fix what isn’t broken”.

However, both the BRC and European retail trade body Eurocommission argue card payments have become expensive.

Christian Verschueren, director general of EuroCommerce said: “This extra cost puts a 12 billion per year burden on retailers.”

The European court has up to one year to decide.