500 MSMEs are forced to close for refusing electronic payments

500 MSMEs are forced to close for refusing electronic payments

HAVANA, May 30  As we reported a few days ago, as stated by the authorities involved, many Cuban MSMEs and state centers do not comply with the electronic payment rulein their establishments, and this has caused some of these businesses, particularly private ones, to be forced to close.

The considerable increase in MSMEs affected in such a short time by this regulation is striking. If in March almost 50 were reported to have had to close their business, two months later the figure reaches almost 500, confirmed the Minister of Domestic Trade, Betsy Díaz Velázquez.

The owner stated on Cuban television, during the Round Table program, that the number of establishments closed due to non-compliance with the rule that requires offering electronic payment methods rose to 476 in just under three months.

“The measure is not intended to affect businesses,” added the minister, under the idea that the objective is to encourage their adaptation to new technologies and offer better customer service, but today many owners refuse to apply it.

The panorama presents several faces: on the one hand, those establishments that do not have the conditions created to implement payment gateways, and on the other, the audacity of charging a commission on the price of the product if you pay via electronic transfer when the cost of the Services must be maintained without alterations.

And added, perhaps the most important, is the scarcity of cash and the low availability in ATMs.

There are recurring complaints on social networks about private businesses, whether gastronomy or the sale of other products, in which they do not accept electronic payment as established. The explanations for refusing are: “They are doing an audit”, “We are in the process of obtaining a bank account”, some users declare.

After the controversial “banking”, applied in August 2023, came the measure that established the obligation for all establishments to offer electronic payment to their customers. Those that did not comply with the rule would be forced to close their small or medium-sized businesses.