Independent retailers have been hit with “one blow after another” after payment provider PayPoint has hiked up its service fee charge by 3.9%.
As a result of the rise, independent retailers are “disappointed” with the decision, which follows a meeting with the Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN), which reminded PayPoint of the challenging trading environment that retailers were operating in and the low margins that retailers received in return for having a PayPoint terminal.
During discussion, PayPoint was also pressed to think again.
However, this week, letters were being sent out to PayPoint customers advising that as in past years, the company had reviewed its service fee charges in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI). At the time of doing so, RPI was confirmed at 7.8%.
PayPoint further advised in the letter that in recognition “of the broader cost pressures for our retailer partners, we feel it would not be right or appropriate to apply this in full” and was raising its charge by 3.9%.
“As each day goes by, it seems that independent retailers are being hit with one blow after another,” NFRN national president Narinder Randhawa said.
“We are already expecting huge hikes to our energy bills from April, coupled with increases in the minimum wage and associated employer contributions and the reintroduction of business rates.
Randhawa added: “Now, despite being encouraged to do otherwise, PayPoint is adding to our financial woes by increasing its charges.
“When we were first told of its plans, we thought we had made it clear that we vehemently disagreed with it. It is very disappointing, then, that PayPoint is pushing ahead with any increase at such an economically challenging time for independent retailers everywhere.”
To mitigate the effects on independent retailers, however, the NFRN said it will work with PayPoint on making members aware of opportunities from the utilities provider’s other initiatives, such as PayPoint Counter Cash, MyStore+ rewards app and Love2Shop digital vouchers.