Leap Cards could be available in fewer outlets following concerns over new contracts
Some retailers could experience a drop in income of "up to €20,000 per annum," the CSNA claims
1 February 2023
Leap Card services could be available from fewer newsagents and convenience stores from March onwards, the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association (CSNA) has said, due to a row over a new contract governing their sale.
According to the CSNA, the terms of the new contract would leave members significantly out of pocket if they sign up to act as agents.
Last July, three months after the main Leap Card contract was awarded to Cubic Transportation Services, An Post was awarded a subcontract to make Leap card services available in 920 post offices and 1,600 PostPoint outlets nationwide, RTE News reports.
The CSNA has claimed that under the previous retail service provider, Payzone, its members were receiving around 2.7% of the retail value of Leap Card related services they sold, equivalent to around 36-38 cent per transaction.
But under the new five-year contract on offer from An Post, the CSNA said this would change to a flat fee of 24 cent per transaction. These could lead some newsagents and convenience store operators to experience a drop in income of up to €20,000 per annum, claimed Vincent Jennings, the CSNA chief executive.
The CSNA also added that those who sign up to offer the services will have to pay a refundable deposit of €500 to cover the installation of the new Postpoint terminal. The number of terminals per site will also be limited to one, while till rolls will have to be paid for by the newsagent, it said.
The CSNA subsequently said many of its members are refusing to sign the contract. However, An Post has challenged this suggestion.
“An Post are currently in the process of approaching retailers with a view to signing them up to become Postpoint agents and sell Leap cards and top ups as well as other Postpoint services,” An Post said.
“To date the company has signed up some 400 new retailers to the service. Leap will be available in Post offices and Postpoint outlets from March,” its statement added.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) said it understands the concerns raised by the CSNA.
The authority said that late last year it received a letter from the CSNA (which was published in December edition of ShelfLife) and it had provided a comprehensive response at that time.
“A significant component of the requirements to be delivered under the new agreement was that any new provider must be able to ensure that there is sufficient retail coverage to serve the main catchment areas of the Transport Operators and that these retailers are conveniently located to address the needs of the majority of our customers,” the NTA said.
“This was sufficiently addressed in the winning bidder’s response.”
The NTA added that it had no direct contractual relationship with either retail services provider or any individual retailer.
However, the CSNA believes that the NTA should have ensured that the tender winner would allow allow those retailers currently already selling Leap Card services to retain their existing terms and conditions.