Spar retailer Mike Pritchard runs a 2,500 sq ft store in Treherbert, Wales. It's a busy community store offering a full grocery range. But the one thing you will not find is a PayPoint terminal - because Pritchard had his machine removed four months ago.
Pritchard joins a growing band of independent retailers who have worked out that having PayPoint or Payzone terminals in their stores can be more hassle than it is worth. The reason? Poor commission rates that do not cover the retailer's true cost of operating a terminal ­ particularly on utility payments where retailers earn just 0.5% per transaction with a cap of 13p.
The Spar retailer is not alone in questioning the value of offering such a service. Earlier this year, we polled retailers in The Grocer Top 50 and found most of them believed utility payment terminals were a "necessary evil". In recent months, the leaders of the main retail groups have all publicly called for a better deal for their members and they are now working on a way to achieve that ambition.
Their concerns have been well documented in The Grocer, which fully supports their efforts. But what's the view from the frontline? What do independents feel about this issue?

Downsides easy to spot
Well, its fair to say that some have not fully worked out the true cost of having a terminal in their store. And others are confident having a terminal does generate extra footfall which in turn creates valuable incremental business.
But Pritchard is one of those who argues that the downsides are all too easy to spot. "It was very costly in terms of the time it took at the terminals. The longer transactions took, the more they cost," he says.
He acknowledges installing PayPoint did drive up customer numbers, but says this, coupled with the long transaction times, proved counterproductive as the resulting queues drove customers away. And Pritchard says he has seen other stores experience similar problems. "When we finally took the terminal out, footfall increased," he adds.
Romesh Perera, who runs two stores and a forecourt site in London, agrees: "The biggest issue is that it's not worth the hassle we go through for the commission we get. They harp on about extra sales because of the terminal but that's all rubbish."
It's easy to find other retailers who are equally unhappy with the status quo.
Take Anjum Khan, who runs a Nisa store in Cardiff. Khan, too, is worried that in his busy store he actually loses business from customers who see queues of people waiting to pay utility bills and go elsewhere.
Like many retailers, Khan also complains that his true costs are not covered by the derisory commission he earns ­ about £9 on £2,500 worth of payments a week.
"The bank charges are more than that," he says, "And that's without taking account of wages or the insurance risk of having more cash on the premises."
Khan adds: "What we are doing is subsidising the utility companies, which seems incredible. I am a local shop on a council estate and I want to provide a service to my customers. But I don't see why it should be a free service for the utilities."
He welcomes the fact the issue is now being raised and that retail groups are trying to see if there's a way of getting a better deal for independents like him. "I will hold on to hear about that and then review my decision as to whether to keep the terminal," he says.
For some retailers deciding whether to remove the terminal is a tough call ­ despite their misgivings. Perera says: "You can't just take this out because of all the hassle you will get from customers. I'm keeping it as a service to them but I am pretty sure in my heart that if I took it out it would not affect my bottom line. In fact, it would increase."
And that, in a nutshell, is the dilemma facing many retailers: do they keep the terminals, despite the hassles, or do they take them out and disadvantage their customers?
Kevin Harding, who runs K&W newsagents in Wallasey on the Wirral, speaks for many when he says: "I would like to do away with PayPoint because it does not pay for itself.
"But I am in a community shopping area with six other newsagents, all within a few minutes walk, one of which also has a terminal. So if I pack it in will people go elsewhere?"
And he adds: "I think we are being ripped off. Someone is making money somewhere. But it's certainly not the shops offering this service."