The proportion of retail sales paid for by card has surpassed the 75% threshold for the first time, pushing the cost of accepting payments to nearly £1bn.

Card payments tipped over 75% of total retail sales in 2017 according to the BRC annual payments survey, driven in part by customers opting to pay for low-value items, which traditionally had been bought with cash, by card instead.

Retailers spent an additional £170m on processing card payments last year, exacerbated by card scheme fees, which jumped 39% during the period.

The scheme fee increases to retailers in 2018 so far have ranged between 30% and 100% for some transactions.

BRC head of payments and consumer credit Andrew Cregan said: “EU payment regulation introduced in 2015 delivered savings for the retail industry and consumers, but these benefits have now been eroded by increases in other card fees.

“The BRC are now looking to the Government and regulator to tackle the alarming increases to card scheme fees imposed on retailers, and for action to simplify the complex fees and charges levied by the card payments industry.”