Shops, hotels and malls have been advised to provide the option of cashless payment for their customers from Saturday as part of the ongoing initiatives for a digital society in line with Oman Vision 2040.

"This initiative (electronic pay), implemented in association with the Central Bank of Oman(CBO), is an attempt towards achieving a digital society towards Oman vision 2040," said Hussain al Harrasi, Director-General of SMEs at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP).

The CBO has already provided point-of-sales (PoS) devices to the commercial establishments which are asked to provide the service in the first phase. The PoS will not involve any installation fees or maintenance fees. However, there would be a fees for merchant transactions specified by the CBO which are applicable from time to time. These fees must not exceed 1.5 per cent and a maximum of RO10 for payment via direct debit cards and do not exceed 0.5per cent for mobile payments via a QR code.

"Post pandemic, the business community is slowly getting back to normalcy. Although cashless transactions are the way to go, I am of the opinion that the small retail traders might find the operations little difficult to get familiarised but over a period of time, they, especially from the interiors, will get organised and gain the advantages of e-payment system," says Davis Kallukkaran, Managing Partner, Crowe Oman.

All these commercial establishments are are advised to display a signage at their premises indicating that electronic payment facility is available for their customers.

"We call on all commercial institutions that fall under these wide categories to provide the electronic payment service in their stores and outlets before the end of 2021, in order to be able to serve the customers from the new year," Al Harrasi said

Customers can approach the Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) if they have any complaints pertaining to cashless system.

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