ATM and credit cards, no POS? When the fines arrive

Almost ten years after the introduction of the POS requirement for merchants, perhaps the time has come to introduce fines for those who are not compliant: here's when, how and how much

The POS requirement for merchants: after ten years, perhaps, we're starting to get serious. An amendment to the decree law on the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRP), already approved in the Budget Committee of the House on December 13, 2021, provides, in fact, for the first time, fines for merchants who do not accept electronic payments with Bancomat, credit card or debit card.

A double fine, to tell the truth, with a fixed amount and a variable amount and that will be imposed by the Local Police or other law enforcement agencies in the area. All this to encourage, further, electronic transactions and decrease the use of cash in the hope that all this will reduce tax evasion by traders. This is not the first time that such a regulation has been proposed, but this time it would seem that the amendment could be included in the final text of the decree and finally become law in Italy.

POS fines: how much do they amount to

The amendment, proposed by Lega and Leu, foresees an administrative sanction for those who do not accept card payments equal to 30 euros. To this amount, then, can be added a further penalty equal to 4% of the amount that the customer has not been able to pay via POS.

It is specified, however, that under the amendment merchants will have to offer the customer "at least" a way to pay by card. This means that the POS will have to be enabled for transactions with at least one international payment circuit, so payment by card may still not be possible, without the merchant risking a fine.

POS fines: when they are triggered

This is not the first time that the introduction of fines for merchants who do not have a POS in the store has been discussed in Parliament. Merchants are in fact obliged by law to have it, since 2012, but currently there is no penalty for those who are not in compliance and, consequently, there are many who are not in compliance. The last attempt to introduce the fine for "No-POS" traders dates back to 2020, but in the end the amendment was scrapped.

Now, however, it would seem that the proposal of the League and Leu is destined for approval and, if so, it would be triggered as early as January 1, 2022. The controls would be the responsibility of the Local Police, but in the absence of sufficient traffic police to monitor the stores, it could also be entrusted to other police forces.

Finally, it should also be pointed out that nothing changes with this amendment regarding the strange disease that is so widespread in Italian stores: the "POS failure".