August 14, 2022

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VVV and Boekenbon under fire for new European money laundering rules |  Currently

VVV and Boekenbon under fire for new European money laundering rules | Currently

The survival of popular gift vouchers such as the VVV and Boekenbon gift card and the fashion check is at risk by new European legislation to prevent money laundering. If it is obtained, then both the buyer and the lucky recipient of the card will have to identify themselves from now on. The BVCNL organization anticipates that the fun will be lost after this and that the future of the gift card will be under great pressure.

“Gift cards, as the word suggests, are usually given, and that just doesn’t fit in,” says BVCNL’s René de Wit. Stores will also be required to register buyer and seller names in a European database.

“How to do it technically is not at all clear. But it means more work for store staff and more trouble for customers.” Moreover, from a privacy standpoint, people would find it difficult to register, one suspects.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Finance said when asked that concerns in the industry are known. “Negotiations on the new guidelines are still ongoing. We know voices from the industry, have regular contact with them and listen to their objections.”

“People often spend more than they are worth on a card”

Currently, gift cards of less than 150 euros (online up to 50 euros) are still exempt from the registration requirement. In principle, this obligation exists because some vouchers, such as the VVV Gift Card, are viewed as money.

“The Netherlands has always used the waiver option due to the lower risk of gift cards,” a BVCNL spokesperson said. “Most cards are also paid with a PIN, so if it’s really necessary, it can also be tracked.”

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Retailers prefer not to see the cards get damaged due to extra work and lack of interest from people. “They can use card turnover after the Corona crisis years. In addition, people often spend more than they are worth on a card.”

Negotiations on the proposals will continue within Europe after the summer, when various countries may announce their views.