Drivers to be charged £100 deposit fee to use Pay at Pump machines at Tesco and Sainsbury’s
Drivers who use Pay at Pump machines at Tesco and Sainsbury’s are to be charged a £100 deposit fee to use the service.
The deposit will be taken out of drivers’ accounts the moment they put their card into the machine.
The petrol station will then calculate the correct fee after the car has been refuelled, and the money will then be refunded back on the payment card, minus what is owed for the petrol.
New rules for drivers
Tesco has previously used a £1 authorisation fee to use Pay at Pump machines, but this will instead be replaced for a new £99 deposit.
The supermarket has confirmed that the deposit fee will be released back into drivers’ accounts immediately after they have refuelled their car, and said the changes were being implements to help customers monitor their finances.
The new payment rules were being trialled by the chain at its Stevenage Broadwater store before the system could be rolled out across the UK later this year.
In a statement, Tesco said: “Under new rules implemented by Mastercard, Visa and American Express, we must now request authorisation from your card issuer for up to £99.
“Once you’ve finished filling up, the final transaction amount is sent to your card issuer, and the remainder of any unused funds up to the maximum filling amount will be released back to your available balance.
“We’ll only ever charge you for the value of the fuel you’ve actually purchased."
Drivers who refuel their car at Sainsbury’s will also have money taken from their account as a deposit.
Sainsbury's confirmed that £100 will be "ringfenced” prior to fuel being authorised and dispensed before the final transaction is calculated.
Again, customers will only be charged for the cost of the petrol and the remaining money will be transferred back into their account.
Fuel payment changes
The changes have come into force after Mastercard, Visa and American Express changed their rules to require authorisation from card issuers for transactions up to £99.
Speaking about the changes around paying for fuel, Mastercard said: “The way you pay for your fuel at an automated fuel pump in the UK is changing.
“Your card issuer/bank will temporarily reserve up to £99 of your available balance while you fill up.
“Then when you have completed fuelling, you’ll be charged for the correct amount of fuel you have used and the remainder of any reserved funds will be released back to your available balance."
What happens if an account has less than £99?
Drivers who have an account balance with less than £99 could be faced with difficulties refuelling their car.
In this situation, card companies should show the lowest amount they will allow to release and the pump will calculate how much fuel you are allowed to take as a fraction of your total deposit.
This means that some drivers may only be allowed a handful of litres instead of topping up their car by the usual amount.
Some card companies may completely restrict fuel sales if a card holder has less than £99 in their account, forcing drivers to use a different card to be able to top up.