Vodafone has refused to back down on its plans to slash margins on e-vouchers despite a massive protest by retailers.

The network faced a backlash from retailers and service providers last week after The Grocer highlighted that margins on its e-voucher would be 0.5% less than other top-up products.

In a letter to The Grocer, Rod Stevens, head of commercial operations with the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, says: “The introduction of Vodafone’s e-voucher is, in theory, a benefit to retailers, but it seems another opportunity to reduce the retailer margin.”

Retailers we contacted say they are outraged at yet another attempt to cut the money they earn from selling top-ups.

Service providers PayPoint and PAYzone said they were still in negotiations with Vodafone over whether to configure machines to generate e-vouchers.

Steve Elliot, Vodafone’s electronic payment method manager, confirmed that the network would not back down. “We are grateful for the feedback provided to us either directly from retailers or via our electronic solution providers.

“We hope that we will able to reach a position where the e-voucher product is able to complement our other payment methods.”

For more, see this week’s issue of The Grocer magazine - available from all good newsagents.