Dubai: Petrol stations in Dubai were operating smoothly yesterday despite a decision by fuel companies not to accept credit or debit cards for payment at their outlets, with few motorists unaware of the change.
Starting yesterday all Emarat, Enoc and Eppco stations stopped accepting credit cards for payment. Only self-branded store credit or smart cards will be accepted as well as cash from now on, they have said.
An attendant at an Emarat petrol station on Al Wasl road told Gulf News that few motorists came without cash.
"Most people were aware of the change, and those who weren't withdrew cash at the convenience store," he said. The fact that petrol stations had started handing out flyers ahead of the change helped avoid confusion, he said.
Meanwhile, the General Manager of MasterCard Middle East & Levant pointed a finger at fuel companies, saying cardholders were being penalised for using their cards.
"We continue to consult with all parties concerned towards finding an effective solution... MasterCard is disappointed with the announcement by the fuel companies in Dubai that they will stop accepting payment cards, denying their customers the convenience and safety of using payment cards," said Denzil Lawson.
An attendant at an Eppco station said motorists were aware of the new policy, but warned that the change could cause delays as motorists stopped to withdraw money.
"It's fine today and there haven't been any serious delays, but once the new week starts that could change," he said.
Mahmoud, a student from Syria who was seen withdrawing money at an ATM in the convenience store at the Emarat petrol station, said he knew of the change "but still didn't take any extra cash. I'm just not used to carrying much cash, and probably won't start because of this change. It's going to be inconvenient I know."
Besides the inconvenience, he said, there was a cost to not carrying cash. "When I withdraw money from a bank where I don't have an account, I am charged a fee which is bigger than the extra fee that was charged for using debit cards earlier," he said.
Another motorist who was filling up said ample warning had been given about the new policy.
"I've started carrying extra cash now. But I know there will be times when I will either have to go out of my way to withdraw cash or fill up less than I would have liked to, depending on how much I have in my wallet."
I am with the petrol stations, it is the banks to be blamed not the petrol stations. Because of their charges the petrol stations are forced to remove this facility. If banks stop these charges then for sure the petrol stations won't have issues in swiping the cards.
Posted: October 21, 2007, 11:22
I prefer paying by card because at the end of the month I get to see my statement and see how I spent my money, but with cash I can't keep track at all. I never carry any cash around and I honestly think this is the most inconvenient thing that the petrol companies can do to us.
Posted: October 21, 2007, 10:40
First the calling cards then the parking cards, followed by Salik cards, and now a gasoline card. Every time a new card is monopolised into the system in Dubai, we know it is a way of making us pay in advance. In other words, pay now and buy later as opposed to buy now and pay later. RTA, etisilat, and now Epco will be making interest on our pre-paid money. It's a matter of greed for revenue over serving the public.
Posted: October 21, 2007, 10:26
Credit cards are fleecing both the holder and the store in different ways. Paying cash is convenient but sometimes making small change is a bother. Also, one could lose Dh50-75 a month by losses accumulated not getting back small change when buying with cash (25fils, 50fils, etc.)
Posted: October 21, 2007, 10:24
It doesn't seem to be a good step forward by the oil marketing companies. Plastic card payments are a much more convenient and easier mode of payment. People don't carry much cash with them these days. In a nutshell, it's going to take more time at petrol stations to fill up a gas tank.
Posted: October 21, 2007, 10:14
Visiting a gas station had become a nightmare with long winding queues invariably enhanced by customers with credit cards, since yesterday however it has become much easier to fill up. Good move!
Posted: October 21, 2007, 09:58
When credit cards are getting used everywhere, why not for petrol?
Posted: October 21, 2007, 09:39
We should not be surprised by petrol stations refusing to accept credit cards. The gold and jewellery trade in Dubai has always charged customers 1.5% to 3.0% more for credit card purchases.This is the premium that banks charge while reimbursing the shops (merchant establishments, in bankers' jargon).So, if banks waive those charges, petrol stations will resume accepting credit cards. Banks and credit card companies are the villains here, not the petrol stations.
Posted: October 21, 2007, 09:30
This is quite inconvenient to the customers and contrary to what the entire world practices. People find it easy and safe to hold multiple credit cards than loading up their wallets with paper money. The decision taken is just to make money by issuing own branded cards which I believe costs Dh200 while most of the bank offer free credit cards.
Posted: October 21, 2007, 09:29
All over the world the plastic card is accepted for everything and anything because of its ease of use. By introducing such restrictions fuel companies are flexing their muscle as there is no competition from private sector companies like here in Canada and US. Since these companies are under semi-government sector, the government should interfere at this juncture and advice fuel companies to withdraw such anti-people policies.
Posted: October 21, 2007, 09:22
They should ask the banks whether they would want to set up an ATM at their station so that people can at least withdraw cash from them.
Posted: October 21, 2007, 09:01
What's so great about this issue? It is better to use cash then the credit card as a lot of time is taken when taking the credit card as payment mode. Come on guys, think back to your old days, remember when you had no job or no credit card. I have been paying by cash for so many years. It is in fact a faster mode of payment.
Posted: October 21, 2007, 09:00
I started paying cash for petrol 4 months ago, because I did not like to wait for card transaction at the station. Now I carry enough cash to fill up the tank every time I visit the petrol station. I think its a good move since people will take less time in filling up and paying cash.
Posted: October 21, 2007, 08:41