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Meal cards legislative norms have been published

This draft of the implementing regulations will be debated in public session for 10 days, and then the final regulations will be published.
According to the project, meal vouchers, which could be only issued on paper until now, can now also be issued on electronic support (card).
Paper meal vouchers will benefit from some improvements: for instance, it will be possible to use more than 2 vouchers per day (this being the current limit). Moreover, the employees working more than 8h/day will be able to benefit from more than 1 voucher /working day.
Meal cards will be used only in the food units having a POS which will accept the new electronic support, by concluding a specific affiliation agreement for meal cards.
Paper meal vouchers can still be spent in more than 60.000 stores and food units already affiliated to Ticket Restaurant, the network of affiliated partners being present in all counties, both in the urban and the rural areas.
Meal cards will not allow cash withdrawal. Since they are not bank cards, meal cards will not have an associated account and will not be subject to any kind of commissions or costs for the employees.
Companies and employees will be able to choose, according to each and everyone’s needs and desires, between the paper vouchers and electronic vouchers (card).
Useful Questions and Answers:
Is it compulsory to replace paper meal vouchers with electronic vouchers?
No, it is not. Companies and employees will be able to choose if they want paper vouchers or electronic vouchers.
Will the companies have to opt for either paper vouchers or electronic vouchers?
No, they won’t. Companies will be able to order both paper vouchers and electronic vouchers, even within the same order. Thus, they will be able to offer the most appropriate meal benefit to all the company’s employees.
What form will the electronic meal vouchers take?
Electronic meal vouchers will be issued on card support. Meal cards will look like and work as usual cards, but will have certain restrictions. For example, they can be used only to pay food products, only in affiliated food units, they can be used only in Romania and cannot be used for cash withdrawal from ATMs.
What stores will accept payments using meal cards?
Meal cards will be accepted only in the food units that adhere to the electronic voucher system, by concluding a new specific affiliation agreement.
If a store or restaurant accepts paper vouchers, will it automatically accept also payments using electronic vouchers?
No, it won’t. In order to accept the payment using electronic vouchers, the food unit must conclude a new affiliation agreement, specifically for electronic vouchers.
Meal vouchers are exempted from employees’ and employers’ contributions. Will the meal cards also be exempted?
Yes, meal cards will keep the same tax regime and the same exemptions on taxes and contributions as the paper vouchers.
Are there meal cards in other countries?
Yes, Edenred has already been issuing meal cards and other types of cards (gift cards etc.) in 37 countries, being the biggest issuer of prepaid vouchers and cards in the world. In addition, Edenred is the only issuer who has already issued a prepaid card in Romania: the Compliments gift card, issued since 2010, as an electronic alternative to Ticket Cadou gift voucher.
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