Cashback: 10 things you need to know not to lose your refund

Ten answers to ten frequently asked questions about the Christmas Cashback Plan and the IO app to get your refund up to 150 euros.

While the IO app's inefficiencies are slowly starting to diminish, more and more citizens are starting to make purchases with enabled debit and credit cardsĀ (here's the list) to accumulate the Christmas Cashback. Which will arrive in February and, most likely, will not reach the maximum 150 euros initially promised by the Government.

As users experience the system, however, many doubts emerge about the correct way to accumulate the refunds and purchases that are counted for cashback purposes. In reality, most of these doubts can be easily resolved by carefully reading the Cashback Program FAQs, but since the rules of Christmas Cashbck are the same as those of future semi-annual State Cashbacks, it's best to get clarity sooner rather than later to start 2021 on the right foot. Here are the 10 most frequently asked questions about Cashback and their answers.

1) Why does app IO ask for the CVV of the card and charge 2 cents?

Many have complained that to enter a credit card in the Wallet section of the IO app (you do that)you need to provide your CVV security code. Others complain that IO proceeds to charge the card for a payment of a few cents, usually 2.

The reason for both is the same: to verify that it is a real, working card and not stolen. Concerns have been raised about the privacy and security of this procedure, but the reality is that the CVV code is communicated with every online credit card payment.

According to what IO app stated in its FAQ, moreover, the CVV code is not saved: "only one data related to your credit/debit card is stored in the IO infrastructure: it is the PAN, that is the number composed by 16 digits divided in groups of 4 printed on the front of the card, but in an anonymized format through an alphanumeric string ("PAN hash") that prevents from tracing back the complete card number".

The amount of the verification transaction will be subsequently reversed.

2) Why do I make valid payments but don't see them counted on IO?

This doubt, among the most common among IO users, is also clearly resolved in the FAQ: between the time of the transaction and the actual accounting for cashback can pass up to 72 hours, that is 3 full days.

It is also possible, and it is happening, that even more time is needed. Finally, it is possible that the purchases are not counted in chronological order: it is normal to see a purchase made yesterday, but not the other day.

3) Is there a site with all the stores participating in Cashback?

There is no site or list of businesses because in theory all businesses should be "compatible". The discriminating factors to get (or not get) the Cashback, in fact, are other: the card used must be among those enabled and the type of purchase must be among those valid.

4) Why if I spend 500 euros I have only 15 euros of cashback?

This question also has a clear answer in the FAQ of IO: the maximum refund for each purchase is equal to 15 euros. This means that out of 500 euros of purchase, only the first 150 euros will be valid for cashback purposes.

5) Are freeway tolls included in the cashback?

This is a doubt not yet completely resolved: in theory, freeway tolls are among the purchases valid for cashback purposes (here the list) but only if paid by credit card, debit card or ATM. Certainly not only the tolls paid with Telepass or Viacard card are valid.

6) Are purchases made with Google Pay and Apple Pay included in the cashback?

No, not yet: the two Wallet apps by Google and Apple are not yet compatible with cashback and will be "soon". Certainly not until next year, though. This means that if we pay with an enabled card we accumulate cashback, but if we pay with the same card via Google Pay or Apple Pay app we don't accumulate cashback.

7) Do ATM phone recharges count for cashback?

No, they don't count as well as all other expenses made via ATM. If, however, we buy the phone recharge in a physical store and the operator allows us to pay with a card enabled to cashback then the expense is counted.

8) The account of the dentist, plumber, electrician are entitled to cashback?

Yes, are among the expenses for which you get the cashback even payments for services rendered by craftsmen such as plumbers and electricians or professionals such as doctors and lawyers. The main thing, however, is to pay with the POS and not in cash.

9) If I pay for groceries at home with the mobile POS do I get cashback?

Yes, exactly as with the groceries made at the supermarket. The important thing is to use a card enabled in the IO app and make sure that the POS is provided by one of the "acquirer agreement" with PagoPA (practically all of them).

10) If I participate in the cashback, do I also subscribe to the lottery of the receipts?

No, they are two completely different initiatives. The receipt lottery, by the way, starts on January 1, 2021.