Who will be affected by this obligation?
All businesses (traders, liberal professions and associations) must enable electronic payments from 1 July 2022. Cash payments will still be possible, but consumers must be given an electronic alternative to pay.
This not only concerns commercial enterprises. The liberal professions are also subject to the obligation, as are any individuals, authorities and associations that perform economic activities focused on consumers on a permanent basis, such as the management of a swimming pool, library or cultural centre.
Economic activity refers to the provision of goods or services in a specific market by a natural or legal person.
They must be permanent activities within the market that generate competition with other companies. The new obligation consequently does not apply to one-off or occasional activities organised by associations.
Associations, irrespective of whether they are profit or non-profit making, may be considered a business if they sell a product or service for economic purposes on a regular basis. In such cases they must offer their customers an electronic means of payment. However, the obligation does not apply to associations that only provide services to their members as part of their statutory objective.
What does the obligation entail?
Businesses subject to the obligation must offer at least one electronic payment option in addition to cash payments. However, they are free to choose which electronic payment system to use, i.e. a payment terminal for card payments or online payment platforms such as PayPal and Mollie, payment apps for smartphone payments such as Payconiq by Bancontact or smartwatch payments.
Good to know
You cannot charge additional fees to customers who pay electronically.
- Rounding is no longer necessary for electronic payments! The legal obligation to round up only applies to cash payments.
- Meal, eco, gift or other vouchers, payments in crypto or virtual currencies such as bitcoin or payments using a gift voucher are not valid electronic alternatives to cash payments.
- Cash payments remain valid and cannot be refused despite the new obligation.
If you have further questions concerning this new measure, please feel free to contact our team.