If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact
Hi all,
Vanilla are planning an update to the site on April 24th (next Wednesday). It is a major PHP8 update which is expected to boost performance across the site. The site will be down from 7pm and it is expected to take about an hour to complete. We appreciate your patience during the update.
Thanks all.

Charges for paying by card?

  • 09-02-2022 6:57pm
    Registered Users Posts: 6,276 ✭✭✭

    On two recent cases I have been charged 50 cents of a charge when paying by card. So a 20 euro leap card top-up came to 20.50. Both occasions were in the same Spar

    I queried it and was told it was a bank charge. I am sceptical about this. The first time I paid was with bank debit card, the 2nd by revolut

    Can anyone advise re. the validity of this?

    If it is invalid I want to report these cowboys. Can anyone advise wh to contact regarding such matters



  • Registered Users Posts: 231 ✭✭maneno

    It’s the spar offsetting the merchant fees to avail of the card terminals and some pass on the charges to the consumers. This is not a bank charge afaik

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,791 ✭✭✭✭HeidiHeidi

    I was charged €20.50 for €20 phone credit in my local corner shop recently. Thought it was a bit odd!

    I was buying it for someone else, haven't bought credit in years and years, so I had no idea if it was sharp practice on their part or just a thing these days, so I didn't make an issue of it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,919 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1

    Seems to be a lot of reports recently about shops adding top up charges on a host of services , I'd doubt very much these are Bank charges, I sense a spot of retailer gouging going on as their banks/ machine providers have increased payment processing charges and commissions and they are passing these increased costs onto customers.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,871 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    Passing on increased costs isn't gouging, that's what every business is doing to try to survive. Granted adding a surcharge for card transactions is illegal but if the shop looses money on a transaction they'd drop it, but with lotto and phone credit it's hard to drop as that's nearly the core business of some small shops.

  • Registered Users Posts: 81,110 ✭✭✭✭Atlantic Dawn

    What does the charge come through as on the receipt given?

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 6,276 ✭✭✭leath_dub

    50 cents is beyond excessive though , and areas they should advertise the charge prominently. When I knew about the charge the credit had already been added to ny leap card. If I wanted to back.out of the transaction would they be able to remove credit from a leao card?

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,919 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1

    Fair point and perhaps gouging an unfair way to describe what's going on, but when one shop doesn't charge extra and another doesn't itnegs some explanation. I personally don't use any top up features but I've heard many stories, particularly those using prepay power.

    I actually witnessed an incident yesterday in a shop were customers were being charged extra for topping up prepay power, one customer made a valid point, namely, no warning, no notification of extra charges etc. Separately I've seen no charge for say a €20 phone top up and a €0.20 charge for a €10.00 top up. I know for a fact the network are not charging the surcharge so it's the retailers doing it.

    I accept retailers incur banking /processing charges, I'm simply asking is it fair these charges are being passed onto customers. Retailers have the option not to offer a service that is not profitable.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭swampy353

    There are two things at play here, there could be a service charge (legal) or a surcharge for using a card (against their merchant services agreement and the law)

    If it is a service charge, there is no obligation to have any notification prior to purchase as no where actually have a shelf label or poster for top ups, when they ask for the money, the opportunity for the customer to refuse is still there. Shops have these charges because you make about 30c on a €20 top up and a €5 top up costs the retailer 5.08

    If they are charging for using a card, then this is absolutely a no no and if its reported to their merchant services provider can result in the facilities been removed for repeated offending.

    If its the later, then tell the person behind the till what they are doing is illegal and walk. There is a facility to report businesses, not able to put my hand to it at the min but will post when I find it

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭silver2020

    It's a service charge. If they have a sign up or inform you it is 100% allowed.

    I was in Birmingham last week and shops charge £1 for top-ups.

    The phone company gives 2.5% commission - it used to be 5%

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,666 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    Every time I do Leap top-up, I'm asked "cash or card". If I answer card, I get pointed to the money-machine just outside and told to get cash, or that there will be a surcharge and what it is. Absolutely no problem with that, IMHO.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭swampy353

    There is way in hell I would go and get cash out, the majority of current accounts will charge at least 20c for an ATM withdrawal. Why would you go out of your way to be charged for using their store to save them a bit of money.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,999 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,871 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    Then Payzone and the merchants cut the commission the shop makes because they know that a shop without their product won't get as many customers. I don't see Payzone or the merchants cutting their costs, yet they want to force their costs onto retailers increase their profits by reducing the commission the retailer gets.

  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭swampy353

    It's not saving 30c, it's paying the bank to avoid a retailers illegal charges. Unless people stand up to retailers who are breaking the law, it will continue on.

    Also the other thing to remember is that bank fees for physical cash are much higher than credit card fees. The only time that it makes sense to try and get cash is if you are paying suppliers or staff cash in hand

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭silver2020

    Can you point me to the law you are quoting please.

    I'd really like to see it.

    And bank cash fees are cheaper than credit card. They can be more expensive than debit cards if you have the turnover.

    As for paying suppliers cash in hand? Virtually impossible. And also every retailer must keep cash register records for 6 years and revenue know most registers inside out. There is no hiding from revenue in the retail game.

  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭swampy353

    With pleasure, its the European payment services directive which came into law 13/01/18.

    The cost of transactions for banking is 0.6% (boi business) and the cost of processing for personal credit/debit cards ranges from 0.35-0.55% (elavon). As you said all of this varies with the level of turnover but with cash you have the additional risk of theft, time physically counting etc and time spent bringing to the bank or addition charges for CIT.

    To believe that people don't try and get away without paying tax is a bit naive.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,871 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    The issue for retailers isn't the cost of providing the card service, they don't charge it on normal purchases, it's the fact that companies that have a product that means people go into small shops are cutting the commission they are paying. The retailer is loosing money when they sell a top up or credit, not a good way to run a business, yet Payzone and the other providers are making a bigger profit because they know they can screw the small retailer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭swampy353

    What you are saying is not correct, have an invoice here from 2017 and a 5€ top up was 4.13 (but the vat treatment was different). When the cost is grossed up is 5.08, which is exactly what is been charged at this point.

    Where are you seeing profit figures for Payzone, have looked and cant see them. Also within those figures does it break out the consumer business v the B2B business?

  • Registered Users Posts: 78,239 ✭✭✭✭Victor

    Surcharges are specifically NOT allowed for Leap Card. Report to Leap Card.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,073 ✭✭✭Shelflife

    A couple of things here.

    Charging specifically for using credit card as a means of payment isnt permitted. So a leapcard top up should be X amount regardless of how you pay for it.

    A "€20" top up costs me €19.76 its simply not feasible to run a business making 1.2% margin so thats why most shops charge €20.50, simply put Vodafone put the price up and the retailer passes it on. Top ups are a very small part of a retailers business, it has been declining for years.

    It can actually be far more expensive to take CCs than cash, a lot of shops have ATMs and use their shop cash to fill them thus avoiding bank charges. if I sell 40 cups of coffee at €2.50 each I have €100 in the till , that will cost approx 20c-50c per hundred to lodge. If those coffees are paid for by CC the shop will pay 5c-8c per transaction giving a cost of €2-€3.20 per hundred.

    While Im sure that there will always be an odd retailer who cooks the books, most dont and the idea of wanting cash lying around to pay suppliers isnt something that any retailer wants, and very few if any suppliers are paid by cash any more as they dont want the hassle of it either.

    The likes of leap cards, top ups and M50 charges are extremely low margin, the M50 transaction gives 3c to the retailer which is why a lot of retailers dont bother with it.

    Smaller retailers have the option of adding on a surcharge to these products or not selling them, likewise the customer has the option of declining to purchase if they're not happy with the price.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 25,666 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    Likely consequence: the shop will withdraw from doing Leap transactions.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,635 ✭✭✭dotsman

    As shelflife says above, you are talking about very low to zero margin products. Shops used to make money out of these things, but then phone companies etc increased their prices, but expected retailers to keep charging the customer the same.

    Its like if a particular item has a big €1 RRP printed on the packaging. That's all well and good when the supplier provides them to the retailer at 75c a pop. But then, the supplier gets greedy and starts charging the retailer 95c per unit, but keeps printing €1 RRP on the product. Now, when the retailer increases the price, everybody blames them and accuses them of "price gouging" and being a "rip off".

    That being said, I do think a retailer shoukd make any charges clear in advance of the sale.

    But the crazy thing is - why are you going to a shop to top up your leap card? Why not just use the app? It's a lot lot easier and you are guaranteed no extra charges.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,871 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    The problem for small shops is that if they stop selling these then people won't even go into them.

    It's a catch 22 for the shop. The providers cut their margins so its not viable to provide the service without a surcharge, but the providers say it's illegal to add a surcharge. So the shop either has to trade at a loss with no surcharge , get no trade by dropping the service or add a surcharge and have their customers complaining about being ripped off.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,999 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

    Do shops rely that heavily on the leap card buying public that they would go out of business? There is nothing else in the shop that leap users would want to buy.

    Personally I don’t see why the shop should provide that service for next to nothing, so either the card issuer or public should have to pay.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭silver2020

    But it's a service charge. Most places charge it. Never seen any place say that it depends on the payment method.

    A staff member might have said it because they just wanted a moaning customer to move on, but anywhere I have seen these charges it doesn't matter what payment form you use. And such additional charges are not illegal.

  • Registered Users Posts: 185 ✭✭Green Finers

    There is a merchant fee for the card machine.

    The €20 you top up your leap goes entirely to LUAS, DB, IR so the shop is losing money.

    I was in Tom Stanley’s recently and they had a policy of cash only for leap, PAYG credit, gas bills, etc., probably for that very reason.

  • Registered Users Posts: 819 ✭✭✭mondeoman72

    Not quite. The shop gets 2 percent. The card fees are more than that. Easiest way is to charge a handling fee of 50 cent. Take it up with leap

  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭swampy353

    They don't rely that heavily on top ups/leap but it's what's described as a footfall driver. So when a customer comes in to top up their leap card they are likely to buy something else, so the leap itself does nothing for you but you make a bit on the other items.

    When you start taking away services like leap from a shop, the customer will still need to top up their card and will just go to another shop and you have lost a customer. It can start a slow decline and retailers are hard enough pressed that they can't risk losing customers

  • Registered Users Posts: 185 ✭✭Green Finers

    Why would I take anything up with leap??

    I’ve no issues?

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 378 ✭✭Saudades

    I made several Leap Card top-ups in the same newsagent recently for €10 each. Only today when I checked my bank statement, they were all charged for €10.50 each.

    I'm going to report it to Leap Card but I can't see Leap Card doing anything about it as they're not out of pocket themselves.