Petrol pump owners tonight deferred till 13 January their decision to not accept credit and debit card payments for fuel sales after banks put off the move to levy the transaction (MDR) charge.
To promote cash-less transactions, the government had waived the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) on fuel purchase post demonetisation for consumers. But after the expiry of the 50-day window, the banks have decided to levy MDR on petrol pump owners.
This meant petrol pumps having to bear 1 per cent on all credit card transactions and between 0.25 per cent and 1 per cent on all debit card transactions from January 9.
In protest of the move, petrol pump operators had decided not to accept card payments from tomorrow.
"We have received official communication from oil marketing companies that the transaction fee charges have been deferred till January 13, 2017. AIPDA also has decided to defer the agitation till January 13," said Ajay Bansal, President, All India Petroleum Dealers Association
Petrol pump owners association earlier said they have been "informed by HDFC Bank that we will be charged 1 per cent on all credit card transactions and between 0.25 per cent and 1 per cent on all debit card transactions from January 9, 2017. But later after clarification they have deferred the decision till 13 January
Ajay Bansal, President, All India Petroleum Dealers Association, said the bank has quoted RBI circular of December 16, 2016, for its action.
"Unfortunately, the circular has no reference to credit card charges or for not passing the same to the customers. We feel that HDFC Bank is using this as an excuse to improve their bottom line through transactions at fuel stations," he said.
He said petrol pump margins are fixed on a per kilo litre basis and do not have any scope to absorb these charges.
"We have specific mechanism to compute the margin and these do not have any scope for credit card MDR. This will lead to financial loses for the dealers," he said, adding that credit card machine issuers are also delaying settlements of dues.
Also, there are disputes about purchases being returned or not delivered. "In a retail outlet, there is no scope for returns or not being delivered a product once you have paid for the same. The reconciliation of swipes to amount being credit to our accounts is causing a lot of hardships and loses to a large percentage of the dealer community."