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IRISH retailers could face an extra €10m in bank costs this year if they continue to accept payments via credit and debit cards.

The 'interchange fees', which are paid by the merchant to the cardholder's issuing bank, is one of the main reasons leading retailers are meeting at Dublin's Westbury Hotel today.

The seminar, hosted by payment consultancy CMS Payments Intelligence, will include representatives from Penneys owner Primark, Dixons and HMV who say they are fed up with having to fork out the additional costs.

CMS chief executive Brendan Doyle said the extra charges for retailers are likely to have a knock-on effect on consumers, as higher retailer costs usually mean higher shop prices.

"The rising costs of accepting credit and debit card payments is a serious additional cost that retailers really don't need right now," he said.

"There is usually no debate with merchants before charges go up, often there is no warning of increased charges and currently merchants just have to swallow the higher fees."

Mr Doyle said that over the past few months in Ireland, the major card-issuing banks have opted out of the domestic Laser scheme in favour of Visa debit cards.

"The card issuing banks are touting benefits of widespread international acceptance, with over 24 million Visa-accepting locations worldwide," he said.

"However, the cost to Ireland's merchants to accept these cards is double that of the previously dominant Laser cards."