As of Friday, all businesses in Belgium are required to offer customers at least one method of electronic payment.
Lawmakers in the federal parliament backed the rule change in March in an effort to combat fraud. The rule covers all businesses as well as medical professionals, public authorities and cultural centers.
Businesses can offer any electronic payment method they like, and cash payments will still be accepted. The law also prohibits businesses from charging customers additional costs for making electronic payments or setting a minimum amount for the use of a card.
According to a 2019 study by the European Central Bank on payments in the eurozone, cash use is still dominant in Belgium, but is in decline — from 63 percent of payments in 2016 to 58 percent in 2019. But the decline is at a slower pace than in other EU countries such as the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and France.