As part of a scheme to promote traceable electronic payments, the Italian government will give you a 10% refund on physical purchases made by credit or debit card. As well as cashback on your shopping, there’s also the chance to win a ‘super cashback’ prize of €1,500. Here’s how to claim your 10% with the IO app.
Update: The July 1st – December 31st 2021 cashback period is currently ‘paused’, no news yet if the scheme will restart for the 2022 period.
Sign up for the IO App
Designed to help people digitally access public services, the IO app has a number of features, including paying fines, registering bonuses, and the cashback scheme.
To start earning your 10%, download the IO app and register your details. You’ll need a SPID (here’s why you should definitely get a SPID if you don’t already have one) or an ID card with a microchip and PIN, like a carta d’identità elettronica.
You’ll then be able activate the cashback function and add the card details you use to make purchases (you can add more than one). Add the bank details for your cashback bonus to be paid into, and you’re ready to start earning 10% back on your purchases!
Alternatively, you can register for the cashback scheme via payment apps such as Nexi Pay or Hype.
How does the cashback scheme work?
The cashback scheme is currently only set to run until the end of June 2022 – so earn that money back while you can.
Cashback is paid out at six-month intervals, meaning you can earn it on purchases made between:
- January 1st – June 30th 2021.
- July 1st – December 31st 2021.
- January 1st – June 30th 2022.
In each six-month period, you’ll need to reach 50 transactions in order to qualify for any cashback (meaning you wouldn’t get any cashback if you only made 49 transactions between July 1st and December 31st 2021, for example). If you’re mid-way through one of these intervals it might be a challenge to hit that threshold, but with the full six months I think it’s a pretty reasonable level.
There’s no minimum spend for a transaction to qualify (hello morning coffee!) but the maximum refund per transaction is €15.
The maximum cashback for each six-month period is €150. Though additional payments won’t earn you any extra, they will push you higher in the ‘super cashback ranking’ – in which the 100,000 people with the highest number of transactions will receive a prize of €1,500.
The idea of the scheme is to fight tax evasion and ‘under the table’ transactions so, naturally, online purchases, direct debits, and bank transfers don’t count. Payments must be made in person in Italy.
My experience using the app
After using the scheme for about six months, I’ve only noticed one payment, made to a very small business, which didn’t register on the app. Generally, if you make a payment via a POS, it will show on the app within 3-5days.
With the next six-month cashback period starting on July 1st 2021, I’d recommend signing up to the scheme now to give yourself the most time possible to reach required 50 transactions and earn your 10% cashback.