Along with the new year, a new law forces all retailers in Germany to issue receipts. In today’s framework, customers only have to be asked whether they want a receipt or not. By 2020, receipts must be offered without any comment. The “Law on Protection Against Manipulation of Digital Basic Records” aims to make tax evasion more difficult. However, the new regulation encounters much criticism from many sides.
Besides the fact, that it will bother customers, who generally do not want receipts, the law will cause additional costs and unnecessary printing of receipts that endanger the environment and the health. According to “Welt”, the printed german receipts would be around 2,2 million kilometers per year. That is 50 times the size of the equator. Even economics minister Peter Altmeier wrote Olaf Scholz, minister of finance, to stop the law.
Moreover, experts classify the thermal paper, on which receipts are regularly printed, as particularly problematic. Up to now, thermal papers are coated with the chemical Bisphenol-A that is known to affect fertility. That is why the usage of Bisphenol-A in thermal paper will be legally prohibited in 2020 as well. Unfortunately, there is not enough data on the new alternatives to know if they are really better.
However, the new law allows issuing receipts in electronic form. Now, the industry and consumers are asked to change their processes and behavior in order to avoid printed receipts. Although a behavioral change is very unlikely and will at least take a lot of time, the law could be a big chance to digitize the point-of-sale. We at tryff believe in a paperless future of the point-of-sale and decided to use only electronic receipts in the form of e-mails or QR-codes – which can be used without the need of any installed application – for our unique smart point-of-sale solution in order to deliver the best experience for our users and help reduce unnecessary paper waste.