Retailers thrash out new Payzone ‘smart card’ terms
Retailers turn out in their hundreds to discuss the terms of the new travel smart card supplied by Payzone
1 April 2011
Retailers are steadfastly refusing to accept the current terms outlined for Payzone’s new integrated Dublin bus and rail travel ‘smart card.’ Following a meeting earlier this week, trade representatives said they must be allowed to take part in negotiations on product margins with all shareholders, including the Rail Procurement Agency (RPA), before selling the new card.
A high turnout of several hundred Dublin-based retailers attended a meeting on Wednesday 30 March, in order to discuss an improved offer from Payzone concerning retailers’ margin on the new smart card.
Payzone’s new offer was relayed to the retailers present by a number of trade representatives who had spoken to the company’s management previously. However the group were unimpressed by the new terms and roundly rejected this offer.
It was also decided that a further progress meeting on the subject will take place in a month’s time.
National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) Ireland president, Joe Sweeney, told ShelfLife that the meeting was opened to the floor, and created a “good discussion on what retailers want and how they could achieve that.
“Retailers are angry about the way margins have been eroded and we have to do something to try and get the situation improved. We reached a good consensus on that.”
He added that retailers had been left out of negotiations on margins for Payzone’s new products when they were launched and that they “would have to find a way around that.”
Sweeney stressed that he would “not be co-operating” with the terms outlined for the new smart card as he totally “disagreed with that.” He said he had communicated this to Payzone in a private conversation and that they had confirmed they would discuss the matter with the RPA and respond to him in due course.
As well as a floor on margins, retailers also want Payzone to provide an automatic charge for customers who pay for its products by credit card.
Instead of a retailer losing out by having to pay a bank fee when a customer pays by credit card, it has been proposed – that with the customer’s knowledge – the Payzone system would add on a standard charge for using a credit card as opposed to the retailer having to ask them for more money.
Retailers used to receive a 4% commission for selling Dublin Bus tickets but were previously told this would be reduced to 2%.
Vincent Jennings, chief executive of the Convenience Stores Newsagents Association (CSNA), confirmed in an earlier Irish Times report that he had received complaints about this from a number of its members.
“There are significant rumblings from retailers about this,” he said.
“They can’t afford that cut in margins in the current climate.”