Photo: RL Hevea
Text: Editorial Cuba Noticias 360
The Cuban government has issued another warning to MSME owners and self-employed workers, as if they do not update the online payment service in their businesses before February, their work licenses will be taken away.
Several points come to the fore: Does the country have the appropriate infrastructure to implement payment gateways for all businesses? What should those do for whom online payment service is not possible due to the nature of their company or to avoid the inconveniences inherent in a platform capable of doing so?
The measure, which has opinions both for and against, is a result of the banking process that the government implemented just a few months ago, which led to a cash crunch and long delays at ATMs, among other reasons.
In fact, at this point in the championship, there are businesses that do not accept transfers, such as is the case of the gastronomic complex at Zapata and 12 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 that region itself has made it clear: the work license will be removed from entities that do not have a QR service to operate through a payment gateway, as established by Resolution 93/2023.
Matanzas Vice Governor Marietta Poe Zamora herself stated that it is the right of consumers to choose how to pay when they visit a state or private business: “Electronic options have to be present in all state and non-state economic actors. “They should implement these activities governed by the Ministry of Domestic Trade (MINUSIN),” he said.
Resolution 93/2023 of the Ministry of Domestic Trade in Cuba highlights that sellers, whether natural or legal persons, will have to offer electronic payment methods in addition to cash from February.
The consensus among those implementing it is that the purpose of this measure is to provide options to those who prefer to conduct electronic transactions. He clarified that cash is not going to go away, as many customers do not have the technology or choose not to use it.
That is, those who sell products or provide services must request their QR code through the national payment platforms, TransferMovil or Enzona.
This concept in itself is positive as it gives the possibility of another payment option. The downside probably lies in the short-termism of these entities, and in factors that do not depend on them: such as the proper functioning of the platform in the initial and simple authentication phase. Let’s add poor connectivity and absence of POS terminals, which do not work effectively even in MLC stores.