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Pay at Pump Vs Pay at Counter

01 June 2020

Written by Jake Jack (Platform Operations)

Banking

Last weekend, Tally informed customers their Tally card would no longer work at ‘pay at pump’ facilities at fuel stations around the world. This brings Tally in line with the majority of major bank debit cards, reducing potential fraud. Of course, customers can still pay for petrol using their Tally debit card, they just need to go to the counter to do it.

The reason for the change was in part down to how pay at pump facilities work. Originally, these machines would not conduct an active balance check, rather they’d charge a £1 authorisation hold, then charge the remaining balance within 7 days. This allowed customers to spend more than they had, incurring a debt, as well as opening the door for fraudsters to defraud significant amounts of money. So new standards were introduced to reduce the potential impact on the customer and the banks themselves.

This involved the machine performing an approval check on the balance, and putting a hold on up to £100 (depending on the retailer). This allows the customer to fill their tank up to that amount of fuel. The issue that this created was it limited the customers access to their funds for a few days while the difference was refunded. This would mean if you used a pay at pump machine for £20 worth of fuel, you wouldn’t have access to the remaining £80 for upto a week!

Even after several years of the new standards being introduced, a large number of pay at pump facilities are yet to be upgraded. This isn’t just a case of small petrol stations not upgrading due to the cost of doing so like you might think, as it's been reported that Tescos, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Esso and BP have all failed to update some or all of their pay at pump facilities. Unfortunately, there is no requirement or time frame which compels these companies to make these upgrades.

The other part is to do with the type of account Tally is. Tally accounts do not provide any overdraft or credit lines, meaning customers cannot become overdrawn, or spend more money than they have. While other Neobanks such as Revolut or Monzo provide overdrafts, and even allow you to become overdrawn without any agreed credit line, this is not possible with Tally, because each Tally represents the customer’s ownership of a physical milligram of gold held outside the banking system in a high security vault in Switzerland. This also protects Tally customers from easing into habits of borrowing – which is the primary way banks make money from their customers. At Tally we charge a single monthly subscription fee (0.1% of the average monthly balance) to connect to Tally’s full-reserve banking platform (as opposed to risky fractional-reserve banking - which is what all the other banks operate on).

Whilst Tally aims to offer customers all the conveniences of a regular bank account, we do so whilst sticking to our values of protecting the value of our customers’ money, removing bank risks and saving them money from transaction costs and hidden bank charges. And again, to pay for fuel using a Tally debit card, simply pay at the counter, don’t pay at the pump.