Abu Dhabi: Service stations of Emirates General Petroleum Corporation (Emarat) in Dubai, Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) and Emirates Petroleum Products Company (Eppco) will start accepting Visa and MasterCard credit/debit cards for all transactions including fuel sales from Sunday, it was announced here on Saturday.
“While a service fee of Dh2 will be applicable for fuel sale transactions using the cards, all other credit/debit card purchases at the convenience stores and other services will not incur additional charges,” the oil retailing companies said in a joint statement.
Fuel distribution companies in the UAE stopped accepting credit/debit cards for fuel transactions in 2007.
“The resumption of the facility aims to enhance customer convenience while addressing the operational costs involved in providing credit/debit card payment facility,” the statement added.
Commenting on the oil companies’ move, K. Al Awadi, a local energy consultant with Dubai-based Hawk Energy told Gulf News: “Of the Dh2 service fee that will be charged per fuel sale transaction, Dh1 will go to the bank while Dh1 will be kept by the oil company for costs incurred by it on telecommunication, transaction machines, operations and other equipment.”
He added: “The mode of transaction at the fuel outlets will change from cash to card, though one can choose to pay in cash. I don’t see the consumption of fuel going up due to this move. Emarat, successfully, did a dummy run on this at four Dubai outlets in July. There was no problem.”
Mohammad Seddiqi Abdullah, Manager at Dubai-based Al Aweer Land Transport told Gulf News the Dh2 fee per transaction is convenient in one way for trailers where one filling costs between Dh600 to Dh800. But for small cars, the transaction fee is a bit to high.”
The decision to resume the credit/debit card facility and the Dh2 charge on card payments for fuel purchase follows approvals from the Higher Committee for Consumer Protection at the UAE Ministry of Economy and discussions with card companies. “It is in line with similar fees by various government entities, and will go towards covering operational expenditure and connectivity expenses with card providers,” the statement added.
Network International — the leading payment provider in the Middle East — is the chosen partner for providing integrated and fully secure payment solutions across the service stations of Emarat in Dubai, Enoc and Eppco.
Network International will introduce its EMV chip and pin solution to enhance cardholder security across Enoc and Eppco network of stations, and at Emarat stations in Dubai. Along with EMV, the terminals will also accept contactless smart cards adding to the convenience of motorists and shoppers.
Mohammad Al Shehi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Economy, earlier said in a statement that the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection had approved the request from the petrol retailers, overturning a decision made last year to prevent the companies imposing surcharges.
“Thus gas stations are excluded from the 2012 Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection’s decision, which prohibits imposing additional fees on using credit cards to purchase a commodity,” the ministry said.
Al Shehi added that the decision is optional for consumers, and that it is not mandatory to purchase petrol using credit cards.
“There is full freedom to choose the way consumers buy fuel, either by credit card or to pay in cash, and in this case [cash] they do not pay a Dh2 surcharge.”