Motorists left confused after local supermarket introduces new £99 ‘pay at pump’ rule

Supermarkets including Tesco and Asda are now able to charge a £99 hold payment when filling up at the pumps in a security measure to stop people disappearing without paying

If you don't have £99, it will make a 'partial' reservation instead
If you don’t have £99, it will make a ‘partial’ reservation instead

Motorists in one part of the UK have complained after a local Asda store upgraded its forecourt rule to introduce a £99 hold charge for fuel purchases.

The new payment rules came into force last year across the country, but are only now being rolled out in Hull, East Yorkshire.

A member of a local Traffic and Travel Facebook page warned drivers of the changes, which began on Sunday, Hull Live reports.

They said: “£99 bank balance to fill up at Asda Kingswood instead of a £1 now.

“Wondered why everyone kept driving off (including myself).”

The payment shake-up was announced nationwide last year as a security measure and will eventually be rolled out across all large supermarkets.

“Visa and Mastercard are changing the way that pay at pump transactions are managed,” Asda has previously explained.

“Previously when shopping at the pay at pump, your card was pre-authorized for £1.

Asda Hessle Road, where the changes have been implemented


Katie Pugh)

“This then allowed all customers to fill up to £99 with the final amount charged to your account (normally the day after) and the £1 pre-authorisation removed.

“The new rules imposed by Visa and Mastercard mean that the pre-authorisation has changed to £99 which means your bank may create a temporary hold of up to £99 while you fill up.

“On completing the transaction, the actual amount is deducted immediately from your account and the pre-authorized amount is immediately cancelled.

“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.”

But motorists concerned about what it means if they don’t have £99 in their account.

One woman who said: “Not very fair if you’re on your last few pound in your bank.”

If you have less than £100 in your bank account, the payments machine will reserve a smaller amount. This is known as “partial authorization”.

At the end of filling up, you will be billed for your current usage and the remaining balance released.

Most major supermarkets have now introduced £99 hold charges


Geoffrey Swaine/REX/Shutterstock)

Asda in Hessle Road, Hull, is one of the locations where the pay at pump price cap now operates.

One customer said: “It’s the same at all Asda’s now, I went to Skegness last year and only had £50 in my account but it still did the authorizing of £99 pound and I put £30 in.

“After you’ve pumped the petrol the amount you have put in comes out in your pending, not the £99.”

A third person pointed out the reasoning behind the change from the £1 deposit system.

He said: “The issue was that people where creating fake accounts with £1 in and filling up £100 plus.

“Card obviously will never have the money in the account so it was never recovered.”

Do you think the hold charges are fair? Let us know your views in the comments below

Another offered advice to those unhappy with the new pay at pump rules and at manned petrol stations.

They said: “Just go in and pay.”

Martyn James, who runs consumer website Resolve helped tackle over 2,000 complaints about pay at pump charges last year.

“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,” he told The Mirror.

“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 your feet or isn’t contactable. But that’s not really the point.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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