Rubis in debit card controversy

Already facing the possibility of fines by local banks, at least one local entity must now face the wrath of Barbadians on social media for insisting on a minimum spend in order for customers to pay by debit card.

The management of the Rubis service station in Kendal Hill has refused to comment on video posted online in which a customer complained of being asked to spend at least $20 if he wished to use his card for a transaction.

“I have a receipt for a Rubis car wash, so I gone into the gas station to get a wash for my mum’s car and the lady tell me that I have to spend $20 in order to use my card. Interesting enough a couple weeks ago in the newspaper they say that is not true,” Corey Worrell said in the video, which has over 20 thousand views.

Worrell said he planned to take his business elsewhere, “but at the end of the day this wrong. We know it is not mandatory but yet Kendal Hill gas station is forcing you spent $20”.

Caribbean Integrated Financial Services Inc (CarIFS), the provider of the technological infrastructure that facilitates payments via debit card at points-of-sale locations, last month  warned businesses that had imposed the minimum amounts to stop the practice, saying its regulations prohibited merchants from directly or indirectly enforcing a minimum spend requirement for point-of-sale purchases.

With the practice continuing, Prism Financial Services, the parent company of CarIFS, told Barbados TODAY earlier this month that those who defied the order would likely be fined by the banks, or have the equipment taken away altogether.

“We did have one bank ask if they should all agree to fine the merchants, but that decision has not been made. However it is up to the banks,” CarIFS Spokeswoman Claire Odle had said.  

39 Responses to Rubis in debit card controversy

  1. Don Reid
    Don Reid May 31, 2017 at 12:43 am

    So hold a second. Your telling me that for all these years, these gas stations have been exhorting me and my fellow countrymen???? Ok, I’ll test this out. It actually happened to my wife last Friday after she picked me up from work at the airport. The very same gas station in Kendall Hill. Thank you very much for letting us know this is hussel and not lawfully implemented. These businesses are something serious.

    • Carson C Cadogan May 31, 2017 at 7:08 am

      If you want to test it out go to Jordans supermarket.

  2. Keikei Davis
    Keikei Davis May 31, 2017 at 12:50 am

    My question is doesn’t the bank charge the businesses a few for every transaction??? So if there is no minimum spend for one to be able to use the card will the bank then drop this fee?? As far as I see it if the business has to pay let’s say $3-$5 on each transaction is it fair then that a customer charges an item that values $5? What sense would it be for the business owner then?????

    • Thérèse Fergusson
      Thérèse Fergusson May 31, 2017 at 1:11 am

      None… you just gave away 10.00 5 to the bank and 5 in product…

    • Keikei Davis
      Keikei Davis May 31, 2017 at 1:13 am

      I think that people deserve to hear the full story on this one

    • Keikei Davis
      Keikei Davis May 31, 2017 at 1:14 am

      Why would the business owner turn away card transactions if it was worth is ?

    • Carson C Cadogan May 31, 2017 at 7:07 am

      No it is not fair.

  3. Harri Crich
    Harri Crich May 31, 2017 at 12:53 am

    You shld be able to use ur card regardless of how much the transaction is. Tri-Mart requires you to spend $20+ if you want to swipe which I think is utter nonsense. At the end of the day money is
    money. I’ve seen someone swipe for $6 and what? Business still got paid…….

    • Thérèse Fergusson
      Thérèse Fergusson May 31, 2017 at 1:09 am

      No the business did not get paid on a $6.00 transaction, however if you choose to have as POS machine it is with the understanding that you will loose on some purchases in the interest of providing the convenience for customers.

      • Jason Vincent May 31, 2017 at 3:05 am

        Can you clarify that please?
        Is it that they don’t get paid at all or is there a minimum charge that still needs to be paid for small purchases?

    • lime juice May 31, 2017 at 11:46 am

      swipe for $6.00 and then pay the bank 3 to 5 dollars, would you run a business like that?

  4. Stacia Newsam
    Stacia Newsam May 31, 2017 at 1:12 am

    If we as consumers would start and boycott these business that wanna waddle in folly it would send them a clear message. Afterall, the purchasing power is ours. If we fail to buy and patronize such businesses, then they have to respect their customers.

    • Jennifer May 31, 2017 at 5:50 am

      Stacia N – agreed. This people is like an elephant not using it’s power.

  5. Nicholas Mackie
    Nicholas Mackie May 31, 2017 at 1:22 am

    thats wrong

  6. Shielding Dyall May 31, 2017 at 4:42 am

    You cannot used your credit card at this gas station to pay for bottle gas, the cashier told me they policy is you have to make an withdrawal from the money machine and pay for the gas in cash.Sheldine

    • Kris C. May 31, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      That’s very true. I experienced the same and it makes no sense since a bottle gas is more than $20.

  7. BIGSKY May 31, 2017 at 6:02 am

    That a lot of RUBBISH coming from RUBIS,customers should not have to spent a minimum of $20, to use their debit cards.

  8. Greengiant May 31, 2017 at 6:45 am

    The chamber of commerce or businesses using the P O S machines have to negotiate a better agreement with the banks, and other partners. I’ve heard the cost of the transaction between business and bank has created this mess. The banks don’t want to lose, and neither does the business. So the customer has to be spending more than they really need to. This is wrong and needs to be addressed in the interest of customer service.

  9. Carson C Cadogan May 31, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Not only Rubis.

    Jordan supermarket does it too.

    The cashier told me I have to make a minimum payment to use my card. I told her that is not right and she said she dont care , it is Jordan’s supermarket policy. At that stage I asked back for my card and left the items on the counter.

  10. Watchful May 31, 2017 at 7:14 am

    This $20 minimum spend has been happening at many other business places across Barbados and not just gas stations. Just last week at a pharmacy in Bridgetown I attempted to make a purchase (which was less than $10) and was told I had to spend at least $20 to use my debit card.

  11. The Don May 31, 2017 at 7:26 am

    This $20 minimum charge is practised by several other business places.

  12. Business Owner May 31, 2017 at 7:32 am

    What is the issue with having to buy minimum of $20 in gas, what is the customer losing if they do that? They getting $20 in gas, how is the business robbing you? Stupseeeeeeee..

  13. Francis May 31, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Make a boycott list of all known businesses insetting on POS minimum purchase and circulate via social media. Its about time we use social media more often for financial empowerment instead of just entertainment!

  14. Francis May 31, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Make a boycott list of all known businesses insisting on a POS minimum purchase and circulate via social media and update accordingly. Its about time we use social media more often for financial empowerment instead of just entertainment. Knowledge is power!

  15. CarmelSan May 31, 2017 at 11:51 am

    The Mount Restaurant (the staff cafeteria) at the UWI Cave Hill Campus does this!!!! Wanted a $16.00 minimum when my lunch came to $14.00. No I do not want to spend an extra $2 in food or a drink I don’t need just to give you more money so I can swipe. I referred to the numerous articles and discussion which stated that this is prohibited, and the cashier replied “it is the policy”. You would think at such an institution they would know to follow the rules.

  16. Karen May 31, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Woolworth needs to be boycott as well.

    They want you to spend $20.00 as well.

    Keep walking away and left the things there, and see them fall in line or there businesses crumble.

  17. Corey Worrell May 31, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    I was reliably informed that Kendal Hill Rubis also demands that if you want to do a mobile phone top up it must be $10 or more.
    I know you can go other places and do a $5 top up. I wonder what Digicel and FLOW has to say about this.

    This gas station does not do top ups after 10 pm either

  18. jrsmith May 31, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Businesses only do this to customers , because they all get away with it , just use the media and boycott the businesses…………..
    We had the similar card problem in London at one time, but the machine owners was charging to use the machine, people exploded , this didn’t last long , now machines have written on them free , no charging……………………………………………….

  19. Frank White May 31, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Just boycott the damn businesses who adopt these practices and see how they profit. We as customers wield all the power and it’s fine damn time that we start using it because the ministers that were elected by us, int doing a damn thing for us…

  20. Sharon Cadogan May 31, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    I had the same thing happen to me at Woolworth, my total was $18.65 and the cashier told me I had to spend &20.00 or more to which I replied, that’s illegal. I asked for a supervisor because I didn’t need anything goes else nor was I leaving the store to find and ATM to come back, I relayed this info to the supervisor also querying if Woolworth would lose $18.65 over $1.35. She said mam, it’s the policy, so I politely requested my card and left their store. I am glad it happened too because I found one of the items I was gonna purchase there for $.85 cheaper elsewhere.

  21. Carlann May 31, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Some supermaket/stores have the same policy. It has to do with the fees charged. Some businesses can absorb the fees in their sales, because of volume,but some can’t because of low uses of the debit card it can become an expense

  22. smiley June 1, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Stores are guilty of this boycott is a good idea

  23. Ethos June 1, 2017 at 9:26 am

    For the people that can’t math properly creditcards are 3-4% transaction fee and debit cards are $0.50 per transaction fee on the merchant’s end…. So tell me how does that affect a business ? They pay the bank more money per transaction the more money you spend so the loss is greater to their business the more money you as a customer spend. So again why should I have to spend $20 when the value of the items I need at that point in time comes up to $15 or $18.

  24. Ethos June 1, 2017 at 9:26 am

    For the people that can’t math properly credit cards are 3-4% transaction fee and debit cards are $0.50 per transaction fee on the merchant’s end…. So tell me how does that affect a business ? They pay the bank more money per transaction the more money you spend so the loss is greater to their business the more money you as a customer spend. So again why should I have to spend $20 when the value of the items I need at that point in time comes up to $15 or $18.

  25. Milli Watt June 1, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    this is de same company dat grumbling bout SOL and the BNTCL sale got it tie up in court, can’t get a cent and playing hard ball over a matter that get decided sssttttuuupppssseeeeeeeee spending my corn at Kyffin from now on and as for RUBIS nuffin for you and I know you going loose dat case

  26. Alex Alleyne June 1, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    The only thing BAJANS do in MASS NUMBERS is COMPLAIN. Now if most persons with the DEBIT card boycott the business houses that demand such , then we all will notice a change. ALWAYS REMEMBER “IT’S OUR MONEY THEY NEED us to spend , so we must do what we want with it.

  27. Alex Alleyne June 1, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    I remember a guy called one of the talk shows on radio and said he was cut out of the line in a bank by 2 persons and it would have never in ENGLAND where he lived for 30 years but he now return to BIM. One person called in and said “if it is so in ENGLAND then go back there” cos right now you in BIM.
    This is very unfortunate having to deal with my own people with this kind of attitude…….all stupidity.

  28. Jaycee June 3, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    On the matter.of cutting the line, that is just rude. How would you feel if someone cut in front of you? Saying things like go back to England just shows a new level of stupidity. Common courtesy is lacking.

  29. Quietly Observing June 3, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Just read all the comments and it is unfortunate that you do not have all the facts. The banks are the ones that want boycotting they are criminals. They charge businesses 3-5% on every transaction for debit and credit card and then at the end of the month they charged another fee. So do the maths especially for small businesses that don’t have that capacity to absorb those fees like the big establishments with lots of volume and who probably put back in some of the charges anyhow in some of the product/item for sale. Whilst it is a safer way of conducting business and a convenience for customers, the banks are to unreasonable. The businesses should get together and lobby the banks or let them keep they machines. So please investigate before jumping on social media.


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