The August Decree will be launched within this week, and will be called to give a strong boost to the Italian economy after the crisis generated by the lockdown. There will not be only news related to mobility with the arrival of new funds to be allocated to incentives in the auto sector: the Government would in fact intend to launch the so-called Bonus POS, designed to give a significant boost to consumption – the estimate is 2- € 3 billion – supporting and rewarding purchases via debit and credit card.
The instrument being defined is part of the broader strategy adopted by Italy relating to the incentive to use electronic money: from 1 July the ceiling for cash payments has fallen to 2,000 euros, and from 2021 you can pay contactless up to at 50 euros without entering the PIN. Ideal both to simplify transactions and to reduce contacts, ensuring greater safety from the health point of view.
It is still too early to know the details: at the moment we have to rely on the advances provided by Sole 24 Ore and by other newspapers that hypothesize a discount if you pay with the card at the bar or restaurant – or with a means that guarantees traceability and reduces tax evasion. The tool should then also be extended to clothing and household appliances, sectors literally brought to its knees by the pandemic. The maximum spending ceiling should be € 5,000, valid for purchases made from August to the end of December 2020.
Immediate discount, subsequent refund or accumulation of "points" on an ad hoc card is not known: what matters is that the State seems to be willing to take on the expense in order to encourage the use of the ATM (or card) to stimulate the question and, at the same time, bring out the undeclared as much as possible.
Italy is among the top countries in Europe by number of POS, but is third-last by number of per capita card transactions, "beaten" only by Romania and Bulgaria. The contradiction must therefore be eliminated, even if several studies have estimated in 10 years the time necessary to bridge the gap with the other countries of the Old Continent. What is certain is that the pandemic has accelerated the process by revolutionizing the behavior of Italians in purchases – + 20% in digital payments in large-scale distribution, + 170% in e-commerce – and the government intends to ride the wave to push consumption.
However, not everyone agrees with this proposal: the commissions weighing on each single transition, still considered too high by some categories of exhibitors, especially those of small dimensions that have a lower contractual power than the large retailers who manage to get conditions (read commissions) more favorable.
From the Top-Down view one must move to a Bottom-Up, giving more power to consumers who, with this card payment incentive tool, will be able to give their preference to "pro-POS" merchants. Facilitating tax spending with a maximum cap of 5,000 euros for certain types of consumers (those belonging to the medium-low range in particular) could therefore contribute to restarting a wounded economy.
Everything will depend on the stakes that will be defined by the Government: who will actually have access to the discount / refund? What will actually be the maximum amount that can be spent to obtain the concession?
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