Pump owners to accept card payments till Jan 13 after government asks banks to defer charges

Pump owners to accept card payments till Jan 13 after government asks banks to defer charges
Representational Image. Courtesy: News Nation

Petrol pump owners have decided to continue accepting credit and debit cards for payment of fuel purchase till January 13, after the government stepped in and asked banks to not levy the transaction charge on an interim basis.

The All India Petroleum Dealers Association (AIPDA) had, on Monday night, announced that all 56,000 plus outlets would not accept payment via plastic money following bank’s decision to levy a transaction charge on them.

Banks had notified the association about their decision to impose a 1 percent change on all credit card transactions and between 0.25 per cent and 1 per cent on all debit card transactions from January 9, 2017.

Following which, Ajay Bansal, President of AIPDA, said that petrol pumps have “decided to stop accepting payment through credit and debit cards from January 9, 2017.”

Bansal argued that petrol pump margins are fixed on a per kilolitre basis and owners simply don’t have any scope of absorbing these charges.

The association, meanwhile, was still willing to work with banks that were not planning on imposing the fee.

“All POS (point of sale) machine issuing banks who are not charging the same and are willing to adhere to existing commercial arrangements should correspond with us to let us inform our members to continue with accepting cards on their machines,” Bansal said.

The four banks that had said they would levy a charge on card usage at fuel pumps are HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank. Even State Bank of India was rumoured to join the bandwagon, but no official notice was sent.

The decision to levy the charge, however, was rolled back by the banks after the government stepped in.

“Banks have deferred their plans to impose charges on card transactions at petrol pumps until Friday after talks with the government,” an oil ministry spokesman told ET.

Meanwhile, according to Ravi Shinde, President of Petrol Dealers Association (Mumbai), pump owners across the city have decided to stop using HDFC bank POS machines for their failure to discuss the matter before levying the charge.

HDFC Bank has around 60 percent market share.

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