Muscat: Shops, businesses and other commercial activities will need to provide cashless payment options to customers, with effect from January 1, 2022, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MOCIIP) has announced.
The move comes as part of the measures to reduce the amount of cash circulating in the market, and help boost digital transformation, under the plans of Oman Vision 2040.
The first phase of rolling out cashless payment options will cover all activities in industrial areas, shopping complexes, commercial establishments, gift stores, companies involved in the sale of food, jewellers, restaurants and cafes, fruit and vegetable shops, electronics stores, shops selling construction materials, and tobacconists.
“To ensure this service can be easily provided, the Central Bank of Oman, in coordination with other banks and payment service providers, has issued point of sale (POS) devices for merchants, without any need for an installation fee, or any monthly and/or annual charges for the same,” said MoCIIP in a statement.
“However, merchant service fees due to the Central Bank of Oman will be applicable,” added the ministry. “These fees will not be more than 1.5 per cent of payments made through debit cards, up to a fee of OMR10, and not more than 0.75 per cent of transactions done through mobile phones using QR codes.”
A number of banks and mobile phone operators already have cashless payment services in place. Mobile wallets help customers add money into their accounts, which can then be used to pay for services, or be sent to others. These also help them receive payments from others.
Such services are now regularly used in the country to pay for a number of every day essentials, as well as utilities such as rent, electricity, water, internet, and other fees. “Cashless payments make for very convenient options in store, particularly since a lot of people many not carry plenty of cash with them,” said Said, an Omani national.
“This is a trend the entire world is moving towards,” added Mehmood, a Pakistani national. “Digital payments are quick, easy, safe, and convenient.”