It e-mailed a group of 60 convenience chains on August 7 to sound them out about the plan.
The message, leaked to The Grocer, said that from autumn “Tesco becomes just another mobile phone network and it would be arbitrary and self-defeating not to work with them if it means your instore top-up offer is diminished”.
The e-mail said PayPoint would enable independents to take top-up payments for Tesco Telecom, as well as Tesco-owned T&S stores.
Among PayPoint customers who received the e-mail were members of The Grocer Top 50, independents, including L&F Jones, Snax 24, David Sands Supermarkets, Jacksons and several Spar operators. Budgens and several co-op societies were also on the list.
Stephen Thompson, marketing director of Scottish convenience chain Morning Noon & Night, was among the recipients. He said: “We are extremely unhappy at being asked to sell a Tesco product. On a separate issue, margins are low enough already on PayPoint.”
See this week’s copy of The Grocer for more details.