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Payzone pulled back by NFRN

THE NFRN has scored a victory for retailers under contract with Payzone, after the payment system firm moved to make sweeping changes to the terms of its subscribers’ contracts.

Retailers raised concerns with the NFRN in August after receiving a letter headed “Great News!” informing them of the firm’s new Payzone Tablet, and stating changes would be made to the terms and conditions of Payzone member contracts.

Under the proposed changes, retailers would be tied into a further three year minimum term contract, with a minimum six month notice period for cancellation at the end of the term.

Payzone contracts previously tied retailers into an agreement for three years, after which retailers would shift into one-year rolling contracts with cancellations requiring a minimum of two weeks notice ahead of each one-year renewal date.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the NFRN contacted Payzone on 4 August, arguing that the change could be interpreted by the court as a violation of contract law.

NFRN lawyers argued that the proposed change was “self-evidently unreasonable”, further claiming that restricting retailers’ ability to leave the network was a restrain of trade that could void the agreement.

Payzone responded to claims made by the NFRN’s legal team by meeting with the organisation’s chief executive Paul Baxter (pictured right) on 16 August, and both parties were able to reach an agreement.

Following the meeting, Payzone agreed to offer retailers a 28 day period to consider the new terms and conditions. Retailers who wish to reject the terms are able to terminate their current contract without penalty charges at the existing expiry date on the current contract, or sooner if their hardware is discontinued.

Payzone has also agreed to reduce the six months notice to terminate period to 60 days. Any retailers that have already had Payzone’s updated terminals installed or have had charges levied already under the new contract will be given the same revised terms and conditions.

The NFRN stated it will continue discussion on other elements of the contract with Payzone.

Paul Baxter, chief executive of the NFRN said: “A full and frank discussion took place with Payzone and we are pleased that Payzone have reconsidered the salient points we raised.”

Rupert Lowery, chief commercial officer at Payzone, said: “We are totally committed to our core convenience market and have spent millions creating a better retailer and consumer experience which will bring several improvements to retailers.”

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