[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - Top up

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Thu Dec 27 20:12:31 UTC 2018

On Thu, 27 Dec 2018 at 19:04, Daniele Santini <danysan95 at gmail.com> wrote:

> If I understood correctly from the mailing list networks like PayPoint are
> different, they allow you to top up prepaid credit and to pay other things
> (where you put the money in). So I don't think payment:* is correct here.

More on the mechanics of PayPoint.  I don't claim to know everything it
does, but this is from
personal experience and from minimal research.  So, in no particular

1).  Whatever it is I am paying for using PayPoint (topping up a phone,
paying a gas bill, whatever) I
can pay using cash, or a credit card, or a debit card.  Or, if necessary, a
mix ("I don't have enough in
cash or in my bank account, so take this money and debit the remainder from
this card").

2) PayPoint allows me to top up my mobile.  The machine dispenses a voucher
with a number I can
then text to the mobile network operator.  It used to be the case (and
maybe still is) that the network
operator will provide an ID card on request: that card gets swiped, you
make the payment and your
phone gets topped up automagically.

3) PayPoint allows me to top up my electricity key.  The key is inserted
into a machine which loads
credit onto it, then I put the key in my meter.  In fact, it appears that
PayPoint is the only way I can
top up my meter key.  After taking a further look at their website, it
appearsthat meter top-ups, rather
than phone top-ups, were how they got started and they've since expanded
into all the other stuff.

4) PayPoint allows me to pay some or all of my gas bill.  I hand over my
payment card (supplied to
me by my gas provider) which is read and the amount I hand over in cash or
have debited from my
credit/debit card is transferred to my gas supplier with a note of my
customer account ID read from
the card.

5) As 4 but a payment (in whole or in part) to my water provider (utilizing
a card supplied by my
water provider).  If I didn't have an electricity meter key then I could
pay all/part of my electricity bill
this way.  This may not apply to all utility companies but it does apply to
many of the major ones.

6) I believe regular payments, arranged with utilities, can be paid this
way.  I.e., rather than a
standing order I could use PayPoint once a month.

7) At PayPoint I can top up phones with any of the UK's four main mobile
network operators
(EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone).  I don't think I can top up Tesco Mobile
there, even though
Tesco Mobile makes use of O2's network.  Tesco doesn't have PayPoint in its
stores and
refused even to tell me why when I queried their head office, so I doubt
they have any sort
of arrangement with PayPoint.  I don't know what the situation is with any
of the hundreds
of other virtual mobile network operators in the UK because I don't use any
of them.

8) Exactly what else I could pay for I am unsure since PayPoint don't
provide a full list.  TV licence
is one of them.  Topping up an Amazon account using cash is another (if you
have a credit/
debit card anyway you'd probably use those when purchasing online, but if
all you have is cash then
this is the way to do it).

9) So PayPoint handles top-ups, payments and pre-payments (by my
definition, a top-up is something
you pay for when you need it; pre-payments are contractually-scheduled
regular payments).

10) The PayPoint stuff is (at least these days) integrated with EPOS at the
shop.  I get my electricity
key topped up, get a phone top-up, pay my gas bill and buy a six-pack of
beer and the EPOS
presents me with a combined total that I pay for in a single transaction (I
insert my debit card
just once, at the end).  I don't know if PayPoint handles the part of the
transaction for goods
sold directly by the shop or if that's handed off to a different
transaction processor, but it appears
probable from their ambiguous blurb that PayPoint processes the entire

11) Apart from the purposes of this discussion, I don't need a list of what
I could pay for with
PayPoint (whether on the PayPoint website, or held in the OSM database, or
held in an
auxiliary database) because I will already have been informed by the
goods/service supplier
that I can pay using PayPoint.  If the goods/service supplier has not
explicitly stated that I
can use PayPoint then I can't.  OTOH, some supermarket chains that don't
partner with
PayPoint offer top-up services for the mobile network operators and some of
the virtual
ones.  Which complicates tagging somewhat, since you have to cater for both

12) None of this may apply in some (perhaps even most) other countries.
But it's likely to be
only a matter of time (PayPoint is already operating in Romania).  PayPoint
is fulfilling a need and
life would be a lot more complicated without them.  They say that their
network is bigger than
all of the UK's banks, post offices and supermarkets combined.  If PayPoint
themselves don't
start operating in other countries it's likely somebody else will start
operations using their
business model.  So be prepared to handle something like PayPoint (perhaps
with a different
name) in countries other than Romania and the UK in future.

I hope that all helps rather than confuses.

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