A stall with Christmas decorations.

What is the Christmas cashback initiative and how does it work?

Get cashback on your Christmas shopping with the Italian government’s new program.

4 min read

The experimental phase of the Government Cashback programotherwise known as the Extra Cashback for Christmas Purchases program—officially launches on December 8. The initiative is designed to encourage paying for Christmas gifts electronically, but how exactly does it work? Keep reading to find out.

What is the Christmas extra cashback initiative? 

December’s experimental cashback is an initiative promoted by the Italian government as part of the wider “Cashless Italy” plan. What is the goal? The initiative aims to incentivize Christmas shopping paid with traceable, “electronic money” (i.e., debit and credit cards, and payment apps). Just by using the payment methods outlined in the regulations, shoppers will receive a rebate on purchases made between December 8 and 31.

What are the specific requirements?

  • You must make a minimum of 10 purchases by December 31, 2020.
  • Purchases must be made exclusively at brick-and-mortar stores (such as bars, restaurants, supermarkets, and wholesalers).
  • Cashback is limited to €15 for each transaction—meaning there will be 10% rebate on a maximum expense of €1,500.
Contactless payment with a smartphone.

How many transactions must be made to receive the Christmas cashback? 

You’ll need to make at least 10 purchases by the end of December to qualify for the bonus. A 10% refund will be issued for all purchases made using a card or app, up to a maximum of €150. 

Each transaction allows a €15 rebate limit. So, if you spend €200 on a single purchase, you’re still entitled to €15 cashback, max. You can’t artificially split payments to add up transactions with the same merchant. To make it simple, you can’t break up your purchases into multiple payments at the same store to stay below the €150 maximum.

Where to make payments to receive the extra cashback 

To receive the cashback bonus, you need to make purchases exclusively at brick-and-mortar stores that allow payment by card or payment apps. Purchases made from online retailers aren’t eligible for the refund. These brick-and-mortar shops or retailers must be within Italy—purchases made abroad won’t be considered. Finally, purchases you make for your business or other professional expenses won’t count, either.

But as long as you’re doing personal shopping from a physical Italian retailer, any other kind of purchase is eligible for cashback—groceries, clothing, dining out or ordering food, medical expenses, and so on. In addition, payments made to any kind of artisan or business that issues an invoice is also eligible for cashback.

When will the Christmas cashback purchases be refunded? 

Your refund will be automatically transferred to the bank account you’ve provided by the end of February 2021. You can provide your bank details during the registration process or afterward, at your convenience. Any IBAN code from the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is acceptable to use.

How to sign up for the Christmas cashback initiative

Anyone who wants to participate in the program will first need to sign up. The program is on an individual basis, rather than by family. That means every member of a family needs to sign up separately, even if they live together.

To register, you’ll need to:

  • download the IO app (available for iOS and Android) and sign up using your SPID credentials or by entering the data on your electronic identity card.
  • declare that you are an Italian resident over the age of 18
  • declare that purchases made are for personal use only and not related to business or professional expenses.
  • provide your Italian tax code
  • enter your debit and credit card details and/or the electronic payment methods you’ll use
  • enter the IBAN code of the account where you’d like to receive your refund. If you can’t do this at the time of registration, you can also add it later. Just be sure you’ve entered a valid IBAN by the end of December 2020.

How do I make payments to receive the extra cashback?

All you need to do is visit any physical store in person and pay using one of the payment methods that you entered when you registered. Whether you’re doing your regular grocery shopping or buying a last-minute gift, all personal purchases are eligible. It’s really that simple!

How to participate in the Christmas cashback initiative with N26

With N26, the 100% mobile bank, participating in the Christmas cashback initiative is quick and easy. Each N26 bank account includes a Mastercard debit card which can be used for smartphone payments. Simply add your N26 Mastercard among the payment methods in the Wallet section of the PagoPA IO app. Log in to the IO app, register your N26 card, and enter the IBAN of your bank account (both Italian and German IBANs are accepted) to receive your cashback. What are you waiting for?  

Not a N26 customer yet? Choose the account that’s right for you. Open yours in just a few minutes from your smartphone and start collecting points for your refund right away!

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By N26

The Mobile Bank

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