The Cuban government will revoke licenses in February from businesses that do not have QR service for payment gateways

Photo: R.L. Hevia

Text: Cuba Noticias 360 editorial.

The Cuban government has issued another warning to MSME owners and self-employed workers as if they do not update their business’ online payment service by February, their operating licenses will be revoked.

A few points to highlight: Does the country have the appropriate infrastructure to apply payment gateways to all businesses? What will those for whom online payment service is not an option due to the nature of their company or to avoid the inconveniences inherent in platforms that support this feature, do?

The measure, which has caused, among other things, a cash crisis and long delays at ATMs, is the result of a banking process introduced by the government just a few months ago.

In fact, at this stage of the championship, there are businesses that do not accept transfers, such as the gastronomic complex on Zapata and 12 streets in Havana, according to a Facebook post by independent art curator Abelardo Mena.

For example, in Matanzas and much of western Cuba the deadline is February 2. And the government of this territory itself has made it clear: the license to operate will be revoked from organizations that do not have a QR service to operate through payment gateways, as established by Decree 93/2023.

The Vice-Governor of Matanzas, Marieta Poy Zamora, herself stated that consumers have the right, when they contact any public or private business, to choose how to pay: “the electronic option should exist for all state and non-state economic entities that carry out activities regulated by the Ministry of Internal Trade (Minchin),” he noted.

Resolution 93/2023 of the Cuban Ministry of Internal Trade emphasizes that starting in February, merchants, whether individuals or legal entities, will be required to offer electronic payment methods in addition to cash.

This measure, according to the general consensus of those implementing it, is aimed at providing opportunities for those who prefer to conduct electronic transactions. They explained that cash will not be eliminated because many customers do not have this technology or simply choose not to use it.

That is, those who sell goods or provide services must request their QR code through the national payment platforms Transfermóvil or Enzona.

The concept itself is positive because it allows for another payment option. The downside probably lies in the short-term perspective that these actors will have, and in factors beyond their control: such as the correct functioning of the platforms in the initial and simple authentication phase. Let’s add to this the poor connection and lack of POS terminals, which work ineffectively even in ILC stores.

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