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The end of the cash era for retailers?

As of 1 January 2021, retailers are required to allow the so-called electronic payments, which means that customers will be able to pay for the products and services by credit or debit cards, mobile phones or instant payments instead of cash. This change would not only be more comfortable for customers, but also it may be an effective solution against black market.

The Hungarian retail sector is facing a major change which will have a new phase next year. Due to an amendment adopted by the Hungarian Parliament in July 2020, all of the retailers will be required to enable electronic payment as of next year (1 January 2021).

The above mentioned amendment requires retailers using online cash registers (OCR) to guarantee cashless payments to customers. Cashless payments could mean payments by credit or debit cards, or payments by mobile phones, in which case the store must set up a so-called Point of Sale-Terminal (POS terminal). Furthermore, instant payment is also an acceptable option for retailers falling under the scope of the amendment. Otherwise, retailers may offer to their customers bank transfers (the customer can transfer the purchase price through his/her mobile phone), although, this latter solution is not swift enough. According to Gábor Gion, state secretary of the Hungarian Ministry of Finance, there are approximately 60,000 retailers who use OCRs and only accept cash payments.

Based on the communication of the Ministry of Finance, the Hungarian Parliament is planning to adopt new amendments in order to develop digital solutions this autumn.