IOBE proposes incentives for the broadening of card transactions


Offering incentives to encourage Greeks to use debit and credit cards could bring anything between 700 million and 1.6 billion euros into state coffers in the first year of their introduction, a study by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) on expanding electronic transactions has found.

The IOBE proposal is for incentives to include a discount on the price of commodities, starting from 1 percent for the purchase of goods and services from sectors with a low risk for tax evasion, and growing up to 10 percent in the high-risk sectors, thereby maximizing the potential benefits from the expansion of card transactions.

Presenting the study on Wednesday, IOBE director general Nikos Vettas said that replacing the obligation to collect receipts with the obligation to perform electronic payments is a step in the right direction, while the head of  IOBE’s Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Unit, Svet Danchev, referred to additional incentives that could be given to enterprises, such as reducing their income tax or entering them into lotteries, as has been foreseen for taxpayers.

Other proposed measures expected to boost the use of plastic money include the mandatory acceptance of electronic means of payment for transactions involving more than 30 euros in sectors with a high risk of tax evasion, the obligatory acceptance of electronic payments with a subsidy paid for the installation of card terminals at all enterprises with an annual turnover of more than 150,000 euros in medium- to high-risk sectors, the supply of card terminals to all utility offices, the mandatory use of credit transfers for collections at customs offices, and the use of electronic payments only at tax offices, banning cash transactions.