The cash ceiling still falls: banknote payments of up to two thousand euros are accepted
The consumer needs little
No news and no incentive, however, for merchants, merchants and professionals with a turnover of more than 400 thousand euros, who were already required to have Pos. And still no sanction for those who do not allow their customers the opportunity to pay by ATM credit: already with the conversion law (the 157/2019), in fact, the penalties that the original text of the tax decree had foreseen, starting from 1 July of this year, for the refusal of electronic payment, had been canceled, and which had been set at € 30 plus 4% of the transaction amount. Deadline also postponed for the lottery of the receipts, which had to start from 1 July as a further form of disincentive to the use of cash, and for the electronic receipt: in fact, the sanctions for merchants not equipped with the new recorders also shift to 2021 cash register, with direct connection to the Inland Revenue for sending daily reports. However, the reduction to 2,000 euros (one thousand less than the current limit), the ceiling for cash payments, does not slip.
Although the signs of a moratorium had already been launched with the Christmas conversion of the tax decree, it is clear that the postponement of the news and obligations is an effect of the Covid-19 emergency: in fact it is true that the objectives can be shared, but Pos and electronic receipt they are not new at zero cost and also involve difficulties from a technical, organizational and accounting point of view, at a time already made extremely complicated by security measures, by tax deadlines and by the drastic drop in turnover.
The appeal of cash
Although the obligations have fallen, the objective remains to discourage the use of cash, in a country where the link between tax evasion and a use of cash much higher than the European average is undeniable: in Italy, cash is used for 85% of transactions and 68% of their value, against 55% in Germany, 28% in France and 27% in Holland. On our levels, in the eurozone, only Spain and neighboring Slovenia; above (75%), Greece and Cyprus. And if the propensity to pay cash varies between north, central and south, even the northern regions are not far from the national average. Including Fvg, where the value of cash purchases is equal to 60% of the total, according to a recent Bankitalia survey on payment systems in our country.
The growth of digital
And yet they move, Galileo would say. And not too slowly. Always looking at Bankitalia data (in this case final, not statistical surveys), in recent years the number of Pos and homebanking and phonebanking contracts has increased significantly (as we explain in detail in another piece of these pages).
Between 2016 and 2019, the POS rose from 2.1 to 3.6 million in Italy (+ 71%) and from 50 thousand to 77 thousand (+ 57%) in Friuli Venezia Giulia. Home banking also continues to grow, and the number of ATMs and related withdrawals continues to decline. A sign that the appeal of cash, however strong, is doomed to a slow decline.