Cashback, bad news for those who split purchases

The Cashback scoundrels infuriate the merchants, but the law allows the splitting of purchases: here are the measures being studied to stop the phenomenon.

That there are several Italians who are manipulating the ranking of Super Cashback accumulating hundreds of transactions, valid to win the 1.500 euros, in the most disparate ways is now clear to all: the 148 transactions in two for a full tank of gasoline made by the customer of a refueling in Treviso, which beat the 60 transactions for 6 euros of gasoline made in the province of Cuneo, clearly demonstrate.

The petrol stations have decided to head the battle against the so-called "Cashback scoundrels" and it seems that this battle will soon bring results. The problem, for merchants, is clear: on each electronic payment you pay a commission. A few cents, which do not weigh on a purchase of tens of euro but cancel any gain if you make micro-purchases under the euro. A threshold, that of 1 euro, which could be the starting point for a change in the regulation of Cashback in a restrictive sense.

In the meantime, however, still rises the daily average of transactions necessary to win the Super Cashback.

Cashback: the proposed changes

Fuel stations, but not only from them (even the bartenders are on the warpath), arrive two main proposals: minimum threshold of expenditure, below which the transaction is not counted for the purposes of Cashback, and minimum time between a transaction and another made in the same commercial exercise.

Unlikely, however, given the current political situation in Italy, these changes can be made immediately and with immediate effect: more likely an adjustment in progress with new rules that start from the second period of Cashback, the one that begins on July 1, 2021.

In the meantime, however, the first controls by PagoPa have already been triggered.

Cashback: PagoPa controls

PagoPa is the public company in charge of managing the whole Cashback operation, through the now famous computer system "Centro Stella dei pagamenti". A new system, tested in the field not without problems in the first phase of the Christmas Cashback.

All payments to be accounted for Cashback pass through the Centro Stella, so PagoPa sees everything: even the dozens of transactions made in the same business and in a few tens of minutes.

The problem of PagoPa, however, are the numbers: to date, the citizens enrolled in Cashback are 7.4 million and the transactions processed have already been 178 million. Finding the fraudsters, therefore, is a headache.

The solution is called artificial intelligence: inside those 178 million purchases, in fact, there are certainly patterns and "patterns" that a computer can identify. Once the suspicious purchases have been found, then, the cardholder is already known.

Cashback: what risks those who split purchases

In a single word: nothing. The first drafts of the Cashback regulation, in fact, expressly forbade the artificial splitting of purchases. But, at the same time, they did not say how any fraudulent behavior would be detected.

In the regulations that later came into force, however, every trace of this passage disappeared. Probably because PagoPa didn't yet have the technical answer to the problem.