Payment network provider Payzone has called on its rival PayPoint to abandon its tactic of demanding exclusivity agreements from independent retailers. Payzone deputy MD Paul Charmatz said it no longer asked retailers for exclusivity and it was officially cancelling the clauses, which existed historically in its contracts with long-standing customers. "I just don't think suppliers should be dictating to retailers what they can and can't stock in their own store," said Charmatz. "This sort of practice doesn't happen in any other category, News International does not tell retailers who stock The Sun that they can't also sell The Mirror." Pressure from retailers and symbol groups was likely to force all payment providers to ditch exclusivity agreements anyway, said Charmatz. He cited the recent decision by Spar UK and its six regional wholesalers to grant Payzone supplier status so it could compete for business alongside PayPoint as proof the trade wanted greater choice. Exclusivity had been introduced when the category was first being developed as the technology and terminals were in short supply, said Charmatz. But now terminals were more readily available, there was no longer any reason to maintain this policy. However, PayPoint defended its policy of demanding a commitment to exclusivity. "PayPoint strongly believes in retailer choice and with our comprehensive range of products and services, an increasing number of retailers are choosing to become PayPoint agents," said retail director Mike Igoe. "New agents are made fully aware of our trading terms, which are clearly explained at the time of sign up." In June several retailers in the London area complained to The Grocer after being told by PayPoint to remove the terminals of rival operator 3R Telecom. Ramesh Patel, 3R company director said he was receiving two or three calls a week from retailers that had been told to remove the 3R terminal or face the removal of their PayPoint platform. n Coinstar UK has struck a deal to make gift cards for a range of retailers available in convenience stores through PayPoint terminals.