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Belgian party calls for measures to encourage e-payments

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The Flemish Christian-Democrat Party (CD&V) is looking for ways to encourage people to use more electronic payments in light of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

The CD&V has called for a tool for comparing the costs of electronic payments to be made available online, along with fiscal incentives, to convince businesses to switch to this type of payment, which is safer in the current health crisis.

In Belgium, 63% of transactions are still done with cash, and the country is lagging behind its neighbours in electronic and digital payments, according to CD&V member of parliament Leen Dierick, who stressed the need for Belgium to catch up.

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In a resolution presented to the House of Representatives, she called on governments to encourage the use of electronic, contactless payments, which she described as a safer, simpler and more effective solution for both consumers and businesses.

“The number of no-contact payments has increased during the Coronavirus crisis,” Ms. Dierick said, adding that this type of payment “offers a safe, alternative solution to cash or card payments since it minimizes the risk of contagion.” She also proposed an awareness-building campaign to familiarize consumers and businesses with digital payments.

“Businesses sometimes do not wish to propose a digital system because that would be too costly,” the parliamentarian said. “I am therefore advocating an online comparative tool from the Economic Affairs Department through which we would provide entrepreneurs with the best possible information on maintenance costs, subscriptions, rented terminals and transactions.”

This would enable businesses to make informed choices on the best options, the parliamentarian added.

“Finally, I am also asking the Government to extend the increased investment deduction or increase the existing deduction for digital assets, to encourage businesses to go digital,” Ms. Dierick said.

The Brussels Times

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