Why no digital sales slips? – eKiosk Why no digital sales slips? – eKiosk

Why no digital sales slips?

Starting this year, the receipt requirement was introduced for all retailers in Germany. The cash register law was passed to “protect against manipulation of basic digital records”. Retailers must now print a receipt for every purchase, no matter how small, which has triggered an intense debate. Proponents believe that this is the only way to stop black market trading. Opponents argue that the state is only interested in knowing what the population actually purchases.

Starting this year, the receipt requirement was introduced for all retailers in Germany. The cash register law was passed to “protect against manipulation of basic digital records”. Retailers must now print a receipt for every purchase, no matter how small, which has triggered an intense debate. Proponents believe that this is the only way to stop black market trading. Opponents argue that the state is only interested in knowing what the population actually purchases.

First and foremost, the federal government wants to strengthen the fight against tax fraud. The obligatory receipts are intended to ensure that all income is recorded and documented by the electronic cash register and that the customer can clearly identify these transactions. Unlike in the past, the time of the beginning and end of the transaction, a serial number of the electronic recording system and a transaction number will also be printed on the receipts. It must be ensured that cash register data cannot be manipulated. This is done by means of a technical security device consisting of a security module, storage medium and the digital interface.

More receipts mean more paper

And it is instantly obvious: in times of climate discussions and sustainability, people continue to rely on paper till receipts. Especially from the trade, voices are being raised that printing out receipts produces masses of paper waste – unnecessary paper waste. Because the majority of customers, for example from bakeries, do not need a receipt when shopping. That’ s understandable, especially when you buy two rolls. And in many cases the obligatory receipts are not paper that can be recycled with the waste paper, but coated thermal paper, which is disposed of with the residual waste.

The Federal Ministry of Finance emphasizes that the receipt does not necessarily have to be in paper form. It also opens up the possibility of creating virtual receipts and sending them to the customer’s mobile phone by e-mail or data transfer. This would speed up payment processing, reduce costs and protect the environment because fewer rolls of ink and paper would be purchased. However, it is questionable whether individual smartphone apps would ever have sufficiently large user numbers. Sending receipts by e-mail also seems problematic due to customers’ data protection concerns.

First and foremost, the federal government wants to strengthen the fight against tax fraud. The obligatory receipts are intended to ensure that all income is recorded and documented by the electronic cash register and that the customer can clearly identify these transactions. Unlike in the past, the time of the beginning and end of the transaction, a serial number of the electronic recording system and a transaction number will also be printed on the receipts. It must be ensured that cash register data cannot be manipulated. This is done by means of a technical security device consisting of a security module, storage medium and the digital interface.

More receipts mean more paper

And it is instantly obvious: in times of climate discussions and sustainability, people continue to rely on paper till receipts. Especially from the trade, voices are being raised that printing out receipts produces masses of paper waste – unnecessary paper waste. Because the majority of customers, for example from bakeries, do not need a receipt when shopping. That’ s understandable, especially when you buy two rolls. And in many cases the obligatory receipts are not paper that can be recycled with the waste paper, but coated thermal paper, which is disposed of with the residual waste.

The Federal Ministry of Finance emphasizes that the receipt does not necessarily have to be in paper form. It also opens up the possibility of creating virtual receipts and sending them to the customer’s mobile phone by e-mail or data transfer. This would speed up payment processing, reduce costs and protect the environment because fewer rolls of ink and paper would be purchased. However, it is questionable whether individual smartphone apps would ever have sufficiently large user numbers. Sending receipts by e-mail also seems problematic due to customers’ data protection concerns.

handy payment

The less privacy the more environmentally friendly the receipt?

The digital receipt appears to be the ideal solution to guarantee protection against manipulation of the cash register and the careful use of resources at the same time. The only problem is the implementation. Could it be that Germany is not exactly in the vanguard of digitisation and is more sceptical about the whole issue than other parts of the EU? Is it possible that the delayed implementation of digitisation is slowing down the solutions to the paper problem? If you take a look at Sweden, it is evident that the population lives almost cashless. Over 80 percent of purchases are made digitally, with a large amount of data being stored. In Germany, by contrast, 78 percent of all payment transactions are made with coins and notes. This shows that the Swedish population has significantly fewer concerns about disclosing personal data than the German population.

From this, the theoretical conclusion can be drawn that the more privacy is sacrificed in financial matters, the more environmentally friendly digital sales slips are used. Furthermore, it is quite possible that the e-mail method will work better if the entry is made at a kiosk system, since no cashier can look at the fingers and the inhibition threshold is lowered as a result. This would in turn slow down the payment process, so that a solution using NFC scanning or similar would be appropriate. In all efforts for digital receipts, it must be considered that the upgrade involves costs that not all merchants are willing or able to bear.

It remains to be seen how the trade develops and whether the legislator may offer alternative solutions. For example, the receipt could simply be shown on a display. If the customer wants to keep the receipt, he would scan it with his smartphone and save it.

Nevertheless, a hypothetical question remains: Had the law on cash registers been enacted at all, if Germany not have failed to digitize its payment transactions?

The less privacy the more environmentally friendly the receipt?

The digital receipt appears to be the ideal solution to guarantee protection against manipulation of the cash register and the careful use of resources at the same time. The only problem is the implementation. Could it be that Germany is not exactly in the vanguard of digitisation and is more sceptical about the whole issue than other parts of the EU? Is it possible that the delayed implementation of digitisation is slowing down the solutions to the paper problem? If you take a look at Sweden, it is evident that the population lives almost cashless. Over 80 percent of purchases are made digitally, with a large amount of data being stored. In Germany, by contrast, 78 percent of all payment transactions are made with coins and notes. This shows that the Swedish population has significantly fewer concerns about disclosing personal data than the German population.

From this, the theoretical conclusion can be drawn that the more privacy is sacrificed in financial matters, the more environmentally friendly digital sales slips are used. Furthermore, it is quite possible that the e-mail method will work better if the entry is made at a kiosk system, since no cashier can look at the fingers and the inhibition threshold is lowered as a result. This would in turn slow down the payment process, so that a solution using NFC scanning or similar would be appropriate. In all efforts for digital receipts, it must be considered that the upgrade involves costs that not all merchants are willing or able to bear.

It remains to be seen how the trade develops and whether the legislator may offer alternative solutions. For example, the receipt could simply be shown on a display. If the customer wants to keep the receipt, he would scan it with his smartphone and save it.

Nevertheless, a hypothetical question remains: Had the law on cash registers been enacted at all, if Germany not have failed to digitize its payment transactions?

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