More than 2.5 million employees in Romania receive meal vouchers, this being the most common extra-salary benefit, used by companies to support their employees’ lunch break, during working days.
Electronic meal vouchers were launched in October 2015, following certain law changes that allowed issuing them on electronic support, in addition to the classic format on paper, which continues to work in parallel with the cards.
„Electronic meal cards represent a great step forward in the modern extra-salary benefit programs in Romania. Edenred meal cards simplify administrative procedures for companies and bring employees an increased flexibility. The fact that within only 2 years since the launching of the electronic meal vouchers, more than 750.000 employees have already opted for Ticket Restaurant meal cards, confirms the Romanians’ appetite for digital technologies and for the benefits that they bring to the daily life”, states Dana Sintejudean, Deputy General Manager of Edenred Romania.
70% of the employees work in large companies, with more than 100 employees. The transition towards electronic meal cards is increasing among medium and small companies, as 20% of the meal card users are working in companies having between 40 and 100 employees and other 10% in companies with less than 40 employees.
Edenred Ticket Restaurant® meal cards can be used to purchase food products in more than 11.000 partner stores and restaurants, ensuring 100% coverage nationwide: hypermarkets, supermarkets, food stores, restaurants, pizza places, pastry shops, etc.
„A remarkable trend is the increasing number of payments made using meal cards in neighboring restaurants and food stores by 8%. This is a strong indicator showing that employees use their meal cards more and more during the lunch break, especially that the maximum value of a meal voucher is currently 15,18 lei, which most of the time covers the cost of a lunch. Edenred solutions support healthy life habits, among which, correct nutrition and compliance with a real lunch break”, states Dana Sintejudean, General Manager of Edenred Romania.
Edenred meal cards are issued under the Mastercard license, they are secured with a PIN code and microchip, and allow contactless payments. During the first quarter of 2017, the number of contactless payments increased to 87%, compared to 80% in 2016. The average value of transactions performed using Edenred meal cards was 36.2 RON during the first quarter of 2017, slightly increasing from 34.5 RON in 2016.
Meal vouchers, an extra-salary benefit, existing in more than 40 countries, inclusively in EU Member states, has existed in Romania since 1999 and their purpose is to increase the purchasing power among active employees. Meal vouchers have a proven positive impact on companies, beneficiaries, partner retailers and even have positive effects on the state, by diminishing the grey economy. The maximum value of a meal voucher that can be awarded to an employee for each completed working day is 15,18 lei. Meal cards and paper vouchers have identical tax regulations and will continue to coexist in the following period.
Edenred issues electronic meal vouchers through Ticket Restaurant® cards, in Romania, as well as in countries such as France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Spain, Slovakia, Austria, Greece, and Turkey.
In Romania, Edenred serves more than 35.000 client companies and 1.5 million users for Ticket Restaurant® meal vouchers and cards, gift vouchers and cards, childcare vouchers, holiday vouchers, social vouchers, as well as prepaid cards for business expenses.