A sudden move by banks to levy a 1% transaction fee on card payments at petrol pumps have taken the oil ministry by surprise and prompted dealers to say they will stop accepting plastic money from Monday.
Stopping card payments and accepting only cash at petrol stations comes at a time when the Centre is pushing for increased non-cash transactions and announced a 0.75% cashback offer on purchase of petrol using plastic money.
ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank sent notices to dealers on Saturday night to inform them about the surcharge. These banks together cover most of the petrol pumps that have POS (point of sale or card swipe machines) in the country.
Following the notice, pump owners took the decision to stop accepting card payments at a meeting of all petrol pump dealers’ associations in Bengaluru on Sunday. All India Petroleum Dealers Association president Ajay Bansal said all pump owners are firm in their decision to withdraw card swipe machines from intervening midnight of Sunday and Monday.