Imagine if the same type of offer appeared at the bottom of the customer’s credit or debit card receipt, triggered based on whatever criteria Boots chooses, using payment data managed by Boots’ acquirer.[From Aneace’s Blog: Boots till receipt promotions]
His general point — the receipts are an opportunity to deliver to some extra value in the payments value chain — is certainly correct, but it of course led me to think about the additional possibilities that will arise when paper receipts are replaced by electronic ones. I think electronic receipts are an excellent service: when I buy things in the Apple Store, their system automatically recognises my credit card and the assistant asks me if I want a paper receipt (in a tone of voice that suggests that she may then ask me if I have a butter churn). I say no, and the receipt is automatically e-mailed to me: great service. Now move forward to the situation where there are no paper receipts any more…
The Federal Reserve Board recently requested public comment on a proposal to exempt transactions of $15 or less from the “Reg E” requirement that consumers receive paper receipts for all electronic transactions.[From Digital Money Forum: Where’s the Walmart?]
Apart from saving lots of trees, one might expect banks, retailers and others to come up with some interesting new services around the management and processing of receipts. If there’s the slightest prospect of the bank filling out my expenses claim for me at the end of every month, I will batter down their door to sign up.
Now I read that there’s a class action tsunami on the way in the U.S. around receipts. It turns out that since January 2007 it’s been illegal for receipts to contain more than the last five digits of a card number, so in a hardly unforeseen consequence of the legislation some 300 class action suits have been filed by lawyers around the country. Now, I’m not a lawyer so I have no idea what this all means, but I did note this comment:
The consumers in this case will neither be affected adversely nor will they be a beneficiary in this class action, said Theodore F. Monroe, Internet commerce and payments attorney. “The main beneficiary will be the class action law firms that initiated the lawsuits,” he said. “In essence it’s a reckless standard being used, so it’s pretty much impossible for any major merchant to show that it was not a willful violation.”[From The Green Sheet 2.0 :: GS Online]
I wonder if the law covers electronic receipts? I shall be looking through my e-mail with interest, seeing if I can find receipts for software and the like purchased from U.S. merchants.
These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]