Electronic payments soon to be compulsory in all shops in Belgium: “It’s totally illegal and not normal”

In 3 months, on July 1, all businesses will have to offer their customers a means of electronic payment. Many of them are already equipped with it, but not all of them. 2 out of 10 merchants still have to do so and find this new obligation “unacceptable”.

Between payment in cash – heavy and cumbersome – and the bank card – light and practical – each Belgian has his habits. In the streets of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, for example, the inhabitants are unanimous: “I admit that I use the cards a lot, a lot. Sometimes I don’t even think about taking money with me”notes an interlocutor. “We now accept even small amounts in contactless payment. In addition, it avoids handling coins or banknotes that have been touched by possibly contaminated people”, points out another. But some still appreciate this method of payment: “It allows me to live in my little world. And I find that the exchange of something tangible is important in the relationship between humans.”

80% of Belgian businesses already offer their customers the possibility of paying by credit card. The use of this card to be inserted into the terminal remains the favorite method of Belgians, even if contactless payments and applications have tripled in recent years, to the point of becoming a real selling point. “Two out of three consumers want to pay with a card or an app. They are very embarrassed if they cannot pay with a card or an app. They will change stores or even change stores to an e-commerce sale”details Sam Arckens, commercial director of a payment provider.

Claire and her wool shop

In a shop in Woluwe, balls of wool have been bought for more than 40 years with coins only. Like 20% of businesses in our country, Claire does not use any electronic payment. Within 4 months, the 1is July 2022, it will be obliged to offer it to its customers. “I don’t do any black nothing at all since everything I buy I have my invoices… You can imagine that I’m not going to have fun cheating for a hook or a pair of needles. It’s stupid! I will work for the banks, that is to say that each small transaction, I will lose a small percentage on this transaction and I find that it is totally illegal and not normal”deplores Claire, manager of a knitting wool store.

A possibility of payment that would cost traders 40 euros per month. Very often, the most refractory overestimate this cost and do not see the point of installing it.

Leave a Comment