The newsagents federation NFRN has welcomed a decision by Payzone to reconsider key points in a new contract it was trying to introduce with its retailer customers.

The NFRN and Payzone met formally on Wednesday August 16 to discuss Payzone’s proposed new terms and conditions for their new tablet technology, after NFRN threatened a legal challenge.

The new Payzone contract, which has been introduced to coincide with the new tablet technology, includes significant changes from the existing retailer arrangement and the NFRN challenged principal areas in representation of its members.

NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter (above) said: “A full and frank discussion took place with Payzone and we are pleased that Payzone has reconsidered the salient points we raised which included:

• a reasonable period of notice to consider the new contract;

• retailers’ ability to terminate the current contract without penalty as an alternative to signing the new contract, if they considered the new arrangement is not suitable for their business; and

• retailers may give 60 days’ notice to terminate the new contract, once the terminal and the new terms and conditions are operational, instead of six months.

“The NFRN is appreciative of the constructive way that Payzone approached our discussions. We are supportive of Payzone’s technology investment and future business plans and will work with them to ensure that our members receive fair and equitable terms.

“In the interim we wish to work with them on a number of important clauses and charges still within the new contract that we believe require further review. Payzone have agreed to work with the NFRN to consider more practical solutions in support of retailers that decide to enter into a new contract.”

As a result of the talks the NFRN and Payzone have agreed:

• retailers will receive 28 days to consider the new terms and conditions;

• retailers that believe the new terms and conditions are impractical will be able to terminate their current contract without penalty charges at the existing expiry date stated on the current contract or sooner if the legacy hardware is discontinued;

• the new terms and conditions clause required retailers to give six months notice to terminate – this has been reduced to 60 days;

• Any retailers that have had terminals already installed or have had charges levied already on the “new” basis will be given the same “revised” terms and conditions; and

• NFRN will continue discussion on some other fundamental elements of the contract with Payzone.

Rupert Lowery, chief commercial officer at Payzone, commented: “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, namely:

• increased range of services, including parcels and transport ticketing;

• increased footfall from new services;

• reduced transaction times; and

• more robust security.

“We are providing this at a market-leading price, as we believe in a fair deal for our customers and are happy to work with the NFRN on the changes outlined above. We recognise the role the NFRN plays and welcome the chance to get things right to the benefit of all sides.”