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Petrol stations with self-service fuel pumps will now check that customers have the funds to pay for their fuel before they fill up.
Previously customers had £1 pre-authorisation taken from their account to confirm that their card was valid before they began to fill up. The exact cost of the fuel would then appear on the customer's account typically one or two days after the transaction.
Under new industry requirements, self-service pumps will temporarily reserve up to £100 on a customer's account before they begin filling up. Some petrol retailers may request a lower amount.
When the customer has finished, the correct amount will then be charged on the card and the remaining reserved amount will be released back on to their account again.
This new system is designed to protect both customers and petrol retailers. Previously customers could wait a couple of days for the transaction to appear on an account, making it harder for people to manage their finances.
Under the new system, the transaction will be posted to the account straight away, meaning the customer should see an accurate balance on their account as soon as they have finished filling up and paid the correct amount. The new system also helps to ensure customers have enough funds to pay for the petrol required.
If a customer's account balance is less than £100, this is communicated to the petrol pump by their bank or card company, enabling only that amount of fuel to be dispensed. The pump will then automatically cut out once the customer has reached the approved amount.