Opportunity for small businesses to implement cashless payments for free

Within the POS caravan, over 1000 entrepreneurs from Novi Sad will have the opportunity to receive essential information on the benefits of introducing cashless payments and the chance to apply for subsidies for free installation and use of POS terminals for up to one year, along with a reduced merchant fee of 0.99% for all Mastercard and Visa card payments.

It's particularly important for merchants to note that there are no additional fixed costs or obligations – after the subsidy period ends, they can choose to discontinue or continue using the POS under the terms agreed upon with the selected bank. Subsidies are provided through the POS program of the National Initiative for Cashless Payments - Better Way. The project supports the development of all types of cashless payments, from instant payments, cards, through mobile wallets, and other next-generation payments.

In the first year of the Program, over 3,000 small businesses, including 700 from Vojvodina, applied for free POS terminals and subsidized merchant fees. The highest interest in the POS program was shown by retailers and hospitality businesses, with an average turnover of 100,000 dinars per month through POS. According to research conducted by Ipsos, the main motivation for over 60% of entrepreneurs to introduce cashless payments was the desire not to turn away customers who want to pay in this way. The second reason is the need to streamline their operations (no change to return, no cash counting, no depositing cash, etc.), and the third is to expand the market to clients who predominantly pay by card.

In addition to electronic payments, businesses can tap into new markets and offer products and services to a significantly larger number of customers, even beyond their business premises through the internet. In addition to reducing cash management costs, security is increased due to a decreased risk of theft. For these reasons, almost 90% of merchants believe that introducing cashless payments has positively impacted their business.

Applications for the POS program are open to all small businesses regardless of their activity, provided they have not accepted card payments in the past 12 months. All interested merchants from Novi Sad and the surrounding area can apply to visit the POS Caravan via the contact form on the website www.boljinacin.rs to receive more information and on-site support. On this website, they can also directly apply for a subsidy or do so through partner banks – AIK, Banka Intesa, Erste, Halkbank, NLB Komercijalna, OTP, ProCredit, Raiffeisen, and UniCredit. POS terminal suppliers include Payten, Mellon, and Unipos. Institutions wishing to install POS terminals at their counters can also apply for the POS program.

The Better Way initiative is a project aimed at creating better conditions for the development and promotion of all forms of cashless payments in the private and public sectors. It was initiated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and companies Mastercard and Visa, and is implemented under the develoPPP program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in cooperation with NALED and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia.

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