Why don’t petrol pumps in Bahrain accept debit or credit cards? | THE DAILY TRIBUNE

TDT | manama

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Legions of customers are upset over the refusal of debit and credit cards at petrol pumps in Bahrain, which they say is making their lives miserable. A good majority of petrol pumps in Bahrain only accept cash payments or special cards issued by petrol companies.

Customers claim that this system does not comply with the digitization policy currently being implemented in Bahrain as well as throughout the region.

This comes as Bahrain authorities plan to increase the number of petrol stations from 48 to 80 over the next two years in a bid to expand and improve oil services in all governorates. “It’s something that sets us back.

On the one hand we talk about digitizing services and on the other hand we have systems like this in place where our existing digital wallets are not allowed,” said one client, who does not want to be named. . He added that he has seen debit and credit cards accepted at gas pumps in every country he has traveled to.

Another client said this is a practice that should be changed immediately. “After entering the premises of petrol pumps, we often find that we have no cash on us to pay. And there would be no ATMs nearby. “Now, one would naturally wonder why I can’t carry the cards issued by the oil companies to make my life easier. There is nothing wrong with that.

But why should I carry them when my digital wallet already consists of two credit cards and three debit cards. He urged authorities to issue guidelines in this regard. “These gas pumps may charge us a service fee depending on the bill. I’m sure no one would be upset about this service charge, as it will clearly make their life easier. Speaking to the Daily Tribune, a financial expert said credit and debit cards are not allowed at petrol pumps for a reason.

“Apparently, the oil company does not want to incur the fees related to payment transactions, mainly to companies in the payment network. To avoid these charges, they introduced their own cards which could be used at any gas station. But the big question is how many people have these cards with them? » Payment network companies typically earn transaction processing fees. Last year, lawmakers in Bahrain proposed making gas pumps “smart”.

Under the proposal, reader chips would be fitted to motorists’ fuel caps at a particular cost. It would then be linked to the Sadeem fuel payment mobile app while providing options for fuel type and amount. Once the tank is filled, the purchased amount would be automatically deducted from debit or credit cards or BenefitPay. The suggestion has since sparked a heated debate with concerns about the loss of gas station attendant jobs as such technology initiatives are implemented.