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Every trader should accept electronic payment, says finance minister

21:27 14/03/2021

Shops and cafes that only accept cash could become a thing of the past, as Belgium’s finance minister wants to require all merchants to offer some form of electronic payment.

Vincent Van Peteghem said: “Without excluding the possibility of paying in cash, the proposal amounts to obliging all economic players to offer at least one electronic payment system.

“In what form? It will be up to the merchants to choose. But consumers must have the right to pay electronically if they do not have cash.”

He added: “This is part of an action plan to fight against fraud. There are no statistics on the number of businesses without electronic payment but it goes without saying that the decrease in the use of cash reduces the risk of fraud in certain sectors.

“On the basis of macroeconomic data, the OECD and the European Commission have calculated that Belgium is losing €3.6 billion in VAT receipts each year.”

By putting pressure on cash payments, Van Peteghem wants to create an effect comparable to the introduction of the white cash register in the hospitality industry, which keeps a record of every transaction made.

Written by Richard Harris