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16 February 2022, 17:04
A number of UK supermarkets take a £99 holding fee from customers who pay for their petrol at the pump.
UK supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury's have all introduced a petrol payments change enforced by VISA and Mastercard in the last last year.
The rule means that customers paying for petrol at the pump will be charged a £99 holding fee, which is a significant hike from the previous £1 fee.
It is being rolled out un supermarkets nationwide after being introduced in 2021 as a security measure, and the rule is already in force in a number of countries in Europe.
As reported by the Mirror, Supermarkets have explained that the temporary holding fee will be placed on your account, but that only the actual charge of the fuel will be deducted from the account.
In a statement on the change, Asda said: "The solution makes it easier for you to keep control of your finances when you pay for your petrol at the pump, however if an issue does arise you should first contact the bank that issued your card."
Martyn James, who runs the consumer website Resolver, told the Mirror: "The way this is supposed to work is the money is 'temporarily' held on your account (meaning you can’t spend it) until the end of the transaction when the correct amount should be debited.
"Now the problem – as anyone who has used pay at the pump services will know – is sometimes the machines don’t do what they are supposed to.
"People have been reporting problems anyway with automated pumps, with keying in details, incorrect billing and other issues. Many people are rightly concerned that the £99 is being debited in error after they’ve driven away.
"The good news is if this happens, it should be pretty clear that there is an error and your bank should be able to step in on your behalf if the petrol station provider of services is dragging its feet or isn’t contactable. But that’s not really the point."
A number of customers have raised questions on what they should do if they have less than £100 in their account.
To this, VISA said: "If your account balance is below £100, for example £50, this would be communicated back to the fuel pump by your bank enabling that amount of fuel to be dispensed.
"This means the pump will automatically cut out once you have reached the approved amount (or before if you choose to dispense less).
"This is called ‘partial authorisation’ and ensures you can get the fuel you need."