The Malta Independent 14 July 2020, Tuesday

Stimulus vouchers to be distributed next week

Albert Galea Tuesday, 30 June 2020, 18:22 Last update: about 13 days ago

The vouchers which form part of the government’s Covid-19 economic stimulus package will be distributed as of next week, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri announced on Tuesday.

Schembri was addressing a press conference about how the vouchers will function from the perspective of the businesses.

Businesses will have to register through an app on a smartphone or tablet to be able to use the system and accept and cash in the vouchers.

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As of Wednesday, they will receive registered letters containing information regarding their eligibility to receive the vouchers along with an activation code which will be linked with their VAT number.

That activation code must be used to create an account within the application.

The vouchers – which will be coloured red and a blue depending on who they are eligible for – will feature a QR code which the 25,000 or so eligible businesses must scan to confirm their validity.

Once scanned, the businesses must upload a scan or photo of the VAT receipt of the transaction which will be stored by MIMCOL for auditing purposes.  For the same reason, businesses must also keep the vouchers which they receive.

The businesses will be allowed to link a credit card to their account, which is where they will receive the funds for the cashed-in vouchers. Businesses will receive a single transaction with the funds every day.

Voucher Explainer Video from The Malta Independent on Vimeo.

In the case of a business having more than one outlet registered to the same VAT number, they can input this in the app and get a separate activation code which will then be used for the creation of a new account by the manager of the said outlet. 

That new account will be linked to the same VAT number, but will not have the permissions required to amend the credit card details on which the funds of the vouchers being cashed in will be received.

 The vouchers will come in packs of five, with each being worth €20. Four will be red, and can be used at hotels, accommodation, restaurants, and diving centres amongst others; while one will be blue and will be eligible for use at other outlets, such as clothing stores, which were closed because of the pandemic.

Customers can use more than one voucher at a time, but for the voucher to be used, the purchase it is being used on must be equal to or exceed its value – meaning that a €20 voucher cannot be used for a €15 purchase.

The vouchers themselves will be equipped with certain security features to make sure of their authenticity. One of those will be a part of the voucher on the right-hand vertical side, which cashiers should illuminate under a UV light to ensure of its authenticity.

If the voucher does not illuminate, then it should not be accepted.

Each resident of Malta will be receiving €100 in vouchers in a measure which is expected to cost the government €45 million.  It is a measure which is part of its €900 million economic regeneration plan, which was unveiled some weeks ago in order to combat the economic effects left by Covid-19.

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