The first new initiative announced by PayPoint to address concerns following its cut to commission caps is “too little too late”, according to retailers.

This week, the company announced the launch of a freephone call centre number from the end of the month as the first of a number of initiatives in a programme of retail service improvements “aimed at helping independent convenience retailers”.

However, the move has failed to win over retailers, with many questioning why it has taken so long for a freephone number to be provided.

Jagtar Singh, a Premier retailer in Saltcoats, North Ayrshire, said: “This phone number is no use. It’s not going to put money in the till.”

Kay Patel, of Global Food & Wine in Wanstead and Stratford, told RN he pays around £25 per month per store in calls to PayPoint, and said: “It’s nonsense, it should have been in place years ago.”

Meanwhile, Joe Sweeney, of News Centre in Dublin, said: “The small measures it is talking about introducing for retailers don’t compensate for the cut in commissions.

“The commission is now far too low to be of any benefit to retailers to offer PayPoint.”

The commission is now far too low to be of any benefit to retailers to offer PayPoint

The news has, however, been welcomed by some retailers and the NFRN who describe the move as “a step in the right direction”.

Paul Baxter, NFRN chief executive, said the freephone number is something it asked for and more actions have been agreed with PayPoint. He added: “We, of course, are still focused on challenging those loss-making elements and banking charges.”

PayPoint says its call centre handles half a million calls per year and it has delivered what retailers asked for.

Dominic Taylor, chief executive of PayPoint, said: “We have been keen to engage and have listened very carefully to our retailers and are determined to ensure we communicate better and operate in a supportive way to frontline retail requirements.”