June 11, 2022 – 11:39 am watch
by Aristotle Zervos
Vouchers or credit cards are very popular as last-minute gifts. Because the “e-money cards” can not only be bought online, but also in the supermarket around the corner. But the German Trade Association (HDE) is now warning of a possible end to the small plastic cards. The reason: The EU Commission wants to make money laundering and terrorist financing more difficult, which could lead to obstacles in everyday life.
Show your ID with every purchase?
“Vouchers have been the most popular Christmas present in Germany for many years. Every year, vouchers worth around three billion euros end up under the Christmas tree. This includes vouchers based on e-money,” says HDE CEO Stefan Genth.
At the checkout there are often stands with numerous credit cards for Amazon, H&M, Playstation, Xbox and many other companies. Choose, pay, take away – that could soon be over.
Because a draft for the revision of the EU anti-money laundering regulations stipulates that the identity of the customer would have to be recorded with every purchase of an e-money product. And that includes vouchers and credit cards. At the checkout, for example, the identity card would then have to be shown.
“There is no objective reason to restrict this very successful line of business now in the name of fighting money laundering,” explains Stefan Genth about the EU plans.
The previous limit is 150 euros
The previous threshold of 150 euros, up to which it is possible to buy e-money vouchers without entering your identity, has proven its worth, the HDE announced on behalf of its members. On the Internet, the maximum limit for a transaction is even just 50 euros. With these small sums in connection with the risk-reducing measures taken by the publishers, there is no seriously justifiable risk of money laundering, the HDE continues.
“In times of growing sensitivity to personal rights and data protection, waiving this exception would be completely contrary to the individual right to anonymity,” says Jonny Natelberg, Executive Director of Prepaid Verband Deutschland e. V. “Many customers would avoid the cumbersome procedures and do without products of this type.”
Should the previous exemption for low-risk e-money products be abolished, HDE and PVD see the danger that such products could largely disappear from the market.
The demand of the two associations: In order for consumers to be able to make anonymous and low-risk e-money payments for small amounts in the future, this consumer-friendly exception option should be retained.
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