Cashback, bad news for those splitting up purchases
The crafty Cashback infuriates traders, but the law allows the splitting of purchases: here are the measures studied to stop the phenomenon.
Several Italians are manipulating the Super Cashback ranking by accumulating hundreds of transactions, valid to win the 1,500 euros, in the most disparate ways is now clear to everyone. The 148 transactions in two for a full tank of gasoline made by the customer of refuelling in Treviso which beat the 60 gasoline transactions for 6 euros made in the Cuneo area, clearly demonstrate this.
It is precisely the gas station attendants who have decided to take on the battle against the so-called “Cashback cunning”, and it seems that this battle will soon lead to results. The problem for merchants is apparent: a commission is paid on every electronic payment. A few cents, which do not weigh on a purchase of tens of euros but cancel out any gains if micro-purchases are made under the euro. A threshold of 1 euro could be the starting point for a change to the Cashback regulation in a restrictive sense.
Cashback: the proposed changes
From the gas station attendants, but not only from them (even the bartenders are on a war footing), two main proposals arrive. Minimum spending threshold, below which the transaction is not counted for Cashback purposes and minimum time between marketing and the other carried out in the same business.
However, even given the current Italian political situation, Cashback can hardly make these changes immediately and with immediate effect: more likely an adjustment in progress with new rules that start from the second Cashback period, which begins on July 1, 2021.
In the meantime, however, the first checks by PagoPa have already taken place.
Pagosa is the public company in charge of managing the entire Cashback operation, through the now famous “Centro Stella dei payments” computer system. A new method tested in the field not without problems in the first phase of the Christmas Cashback.
All payments to be accounted for Cashback pass through the Stella Center, so PagoPa sees everything: even the dozens of transactions made in the same business and a few tens of minutes.
However, the problem with PagoPa is the numbers: to date, the citizens registered with the Cashback are 7.4 million and the transactions processed have already been 178 million. Finding the crafty, therefore, is a headache operation.
The solution would be, and it is called artificial intelligence: within those 178 million purchases, there are specific patterns and “patterns” that a computer can identify. Once suspicious purchases have been found, the cardholder is already known.
Cashback: what risks those who split up purchases
In one word: nothing. The first draft regulations of the Cashback, in fact, expressly forbade the artificial splitting of purchases. But, at the same time, they did not say how Cashback would identify any fraudulent behaviour.
In the legislation that came into force, however, all traces of this passage have disappeared. Probably because PagoPa did not yet have the technical answer to the problem.