How closely do you look at your bill for card processing? Colin Steadman reckons that many retailers may not have noticed an extra charge on their bills. He got in touch from Kexborough Post Office near Barnsley, to say that in April his Worldpay bill had nearly tripled. He has two epos tills with contactless card readers for which he previously paid £70-80 a month. In April it was £191.02 and a similar amount in May. Various things had gone up. (Worse news: Mastercard and Visa will be increasing costs for the processing of card payments as of 1 July.)

When Colin queried it (thinking that a ‘one’ had been added by mistake) he was told that he had been notified some time ago about authorisation charges.

“I did get a complicated email telling us to turn the machines off and on again to reboot with updates to make contactless transactions seamless,” he recalls.

The authorisation charges are 4.5p for both Chip & PIN and for contactless card transactions.

When I spoke to Colin he had done 1,085 over the course of four weeks which comes out at nearly £50. Charges you are not allowed to recoup.

He makes another technical point. Contactless takes a split second; how is it possible to authorise it in that nanosecond?

He concludes: “They’ve invented a revenue stream for themselves.”