ANOTHER supermarket chain has revealed drivers filling up at its forecourts could see a temporary hold of up to £100 from their bank accounts.

Sainsbury's, which has several stores across the North East and North Yorkshire, has said it will implement the changes at its Pay@Pump facilities.

It follows changes made by the banking industry, which Tesco has already confirmed is in the process of implementing to its own self-service petrol pumps.

Read more: Drivers furious as Tesco starts charging £99 hold for fuel across UK

It is understood the significant changes will be eventually rolled out across major supermarkets petrol stations in coming months following a new "mandate" imposed by Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Those card-issuers have since offered assurances that the amount taken should be "released" instantaneously, although some drivers have remained furious at the move.

The Northern Echo: Sainsbury's has not said which petrol stations have the new system yet Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTSainsbury's has not said which petrol stations have the new system yet Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Sainsbury's has said the new changes have so far been introduced at a "small percentage" of its petrol stations, with more expected in coming months.

But on social media, drivers have again been spotted hitting back as some have already raised concerns over delays to the release of funds when fuelling up.

One person tweeted the supermarket chain after filling up at one of its supermarket petrol stations and saw a £100 amount withheld for up to a day.

The Northern Echo:

Another person tweeted that they had been unaware, saying they had been charged £100 after using a Sainsbury's petrol station to fill up £29.99 worth of petrol.

The person raised concerns with the chain, saying they had been left concerned that those without enough cash may be left in a vulnerable position.

But Sainsbury's has said the amount should be released almost instantly at the point of completing the transaction and has urged those suffering a delay to contact their bank.

In a statement, Sainsbury's said the the amount is "ringfenced" by the bank and that the chain has no input on this process.

Addressing concerns on drivers not having £100 in their account at time of purchase, Sainsbury's said that a lower amount should be held.

It said: "If their account balance is below £100, for example £50, their bank may pass back a message to the pump that it can dispense up to that amount of fuel and the transaction will stop once the partial approval limit has been reached.

"If this happens the reduced amount will be displayed to the customer on the pump screen."

Tesco, which is among the first supermarkets to implement the change, previously said that American Express, Mastercard and Visa had implemented "new rules" to help cardholders "keep control" of their budgets in real time. 

'You'll only be charged for the amount of petrol you've bought'

A spokesperson for Visa this week confirmed that the "ringfenced" amount should in fact be released instantly. 

They said: "The way you pay for fuel at self-service pumps has been changing. 

"When you insert or tap your card at a self-service pump, your bank will now temporarily reserve an amount from your available balance while you fill up.

"This could be up to £100 (a standard tank of petrol). 

"Once you’ve finished filling up, this will be updated and you’ll only be charged for the amount of petrol you bought.  

"This should happen almost instantly but occasionally it may take a little longer. If this is the case, please contact your bank."   

Visa has said that the pre-check or hold should be on someone's account for a few minutes at the most.

'The new process is designed to ensure more people’s cards can be used at the pump'

Meanwhile Mastercard have said the move is designed to make pay at pump facilities more accessible to everyone and is a system widely used in European countries.

James Thorpe, Vice President for Communications, said: "We are working together with banks and petrol stations to improve the way payments are made at ‘Pay At Pump’ sites.

"The new process is designed to ensure more people’s cards can be used at the pump.

"When you pay at pump using your card, a temporary hold of up to £100 is applied to your account prior to pumping the fuel.

"You may see this initially on your banking App, but immediately after the fuel is dispensed the precise sum is withdrawn from your account, and any remainder of the held funds are released for use.

"Should cardholders experience any issues or have any questions regarding this new process they should contact their bank."

The Northern Echo contacted Asda and Morrisons for comment but did not receive a response at time of print.


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