Anger was growing this week among independent retailers over Vodafone’s plans to “force in” electronic vouchers.

Costcutter trading manager Ian Cameron said retailers would be forced to introduce e-vouchers, with commission reduced 0.5%, as Vodafone was discontinuing paper vouchers.

He said: “We have all suffered from network providers cutting margins on paper vouchers and it’s going to be déjà vu on electronic vouchers.”

Vodafone electronic payment method manager Steve Elliot said: “We are still in discussions with solutions providers. We hope to get to a position where e-top up can complement other top up methods. Our aim is to make this a viable product.”

Vodafone plans to withdraw all paper vouchers from the end of its financial year on March 31, he said.

Meanwhile, mobile phone network T-Mobile said it was reviewing commission on paper vouchers. It temporarily put up commission half a percent to offset the impact of a change of rules on VAT announced as part of the Budget in April.

But a spokeswoman said the temporary period was due to expire at the end of October.

Commission rates were being reviewed, but she said: “We have not taken a decision yet.”

Vodafone claimed it had absorbed a VAT increase on margins on paper vouchers announced in the Budget in March.

It would continue to do so “until the new product comes out”, said Elliot.