The End Of The Mandatory Receipt: What Does It Change?
From January 1st 2023, paper receipts will no longer be systematically given to you in stores. This measure, intended to reduce our paper consumption, worries the Cnil and some consumers. We explain what will change with the end of the mandatory receipt.
What will change?
Starting January 1, if you want a printed receipt, you must specifically request it from the merchant.
The end of the mandatory receipt will come into effect from January 1, 2023 and will affect:
- bank card tickets
- tickets issued by automatic machines (such as cash dispensers)
- vouchers or other discount tickets.
However, you will still get a paper ticket when purchasing durable goods such as appliances or computer equipment, as well as for all cancelled or credited transactions.
Why this measure?
The end of the mandatory receipt is a measure to protect the environment and health. It has been provided for by the AGEC law (anti-waste law for a circular economy) of February 10, 2020.
Indeed, no less than 30 billion tickets are printed each year in France... This huge amount of paper represents the equivalent of 25 million trees!
In addition, another objective of this measure is to avoid certain substances dangerous to health present in cash register tickets, namely the endocrine disruptors bisphenol A and S.
What are the alternatives?
The end of the paper receipt from January 1, 2023 will be a big change in consumer habits and some are not hiding their concern...
In particular, they fear that they will no longer be able to follow the evolution of prices or spot possible errors on their bill. Some have pointed out that without a receipt, it is impossible to prove that a product was purchased in a specific store and to claim the warranty on a defective product...
But rest assured: dematerialized solutions already exist! The alternatives to paper are the ticket sent by SMS, email, QR code or message in the customer's banking application.
For customers, however, this dematerialization of receipts involves giving their phone number or email address or sometimes even downloading the brand's application, which worries the Cnil.
What are the risks of dematerialized tickets?
From January 1st, many shops will offer to send you your receipts by email, SMS or through a loyalty application.
However, according to the Cnil, the dematerialization of cash register receipts may accelerate the recovery of personal data. Indeed, merchants could take advantage of the end of the paper receipt to keep track of your passage in the store and build a data file.
The problem is that this information is not harmless... It allows retailers to know the habits of customers and to send them later targeted advertising, as we already see on social networks and the Internet.
Besides, if customers regularly receive a promotional email for each brand where they have made purchases, the gain for the environment may be considerably reduced.
What does the Cnil say?
According to the Cnil, an email address collected in order to send a dematerialized receipt must not be used for any other purpose such as commercial prospecting, according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
In theory, the merchant must obligatorily collect the customer's consent before being able to process and use their personal data, such as their email address and phone number.
In practice, the Cnil and consumer protection associations point out that, for the moment, the collection of consent is a very vague notion. Is a simple verbal agreement sufficient? Will it be necessary to ask for a signature at the cash desk? The question is a real headache...
To answer it, some start-ups are working on solutions to anonymize the dematerialized ticket. This is for example the case of Billiv, a start-up that has imagined a QR code generated automatically during the checkout process.
This QR code guarantees the respect of personal data because it allows the customer to retrieve his ticket with his smartphone, without having to download an application or give his email address or phone number.