Consumers in Italy can now receive an automatic 10% refund into their bank account for cashless in-store payments made using a credit, debit or prepaid card or payment app between now and the end of the year — as long as they make at least 10 digital transactions during the period.
The Italia Cashless initiative will then continue into 2021, with the addition of a Super Cashback competition for those making the highest number of cashless in-store purchases in a six-month period, as well as weekly, monthly and annual virtual Receipt Lotteries for both purchasers and merchants.
“Italia Cashless is the plan developed by the government that rewards those who do not use cash in purchases: in fact, those who use credit cards, debit cards and apps will have part of the expenditure made reimbursed,” the Italian government explains.
“The goal is to modernise the country by promoting the development of a faster, simpler and more transparent digital system.”
In the first phase of the Italia Cashless initiative — Christmas Extra Cashback — consumers making at least 10 cash-free payments in shops, bars, restaurants and supermarkets or to artisans and professional service providers by 31 December will be eligible to receive the 10% refund up to a maximum total of €150 (US$182).
The 10% refund will also be offered for card and app payments from 1 January 2021 onwards when “reimbursements of up to €300 (US$364) per year are possible,” Cashless Italia says.
“Every six months, if you make a minimum of 50 payments, you will receive 10% of the amount spent, up to a maximum of €150 (US$181) in total reimbursement. The maximum refund for each single transaction is €15 (US$18).”
On 1 January Cashless Italia will also be launching Super Cashback, which enables “those who are among the first 100,000 citizens who have totalled the highest number of card and payment app transactions in a [six-month] semester” to receive a €1,500 (US$1,820) reward.
Cashless in-store purchases made with a payment card or app from 1 January onwards will also “automatically generate virtual tickets for the Receipt Lottery, which can win prizes for those who buy and for the merchants who issued them”.
Italian citizens with a SPID (public digital identity system) or electronic ID card are eligible to participate and can register their payment card and bank details via the Italian government’s IO app.
Although payments made via apps including Satispay, Yap and Hype are eligible for Christmas Extra Cashback, transactions via Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay and Garmin Pay will not be eligible until January 2021.
Purchases made online, purchases necessary for carrying out business, professional or craft activities, operations performed at ATMs (such as phone top-ups), direct debits and transactions relating to recurring payments are not eligible for the scheme.