Portuguese banks may be required to correct irregularities with meal cards in light of the new payment rules that came into force on 14 September.
Cards where meal allowances are credited are exempt, but only if they meet four rules. Just one of them fails to lose the condition of exclusion and, in this case, the associated tax and social scheme.
The warning was advanced by the Portuguese Association of Extra-Salary Securities Companies, which exemplifies Caixa Break, issued by Caixa Geral de Depósitos, which can be used abroad.
Under the new rules, this type of card cannot be used outside Portugal, which is the first of four conditions for excluding meal cards from the new payment rules.
In addition to being valid only in Portugal, and according to Bank of Portugal replies sent to the Renaissance, the cards must be supplied at the request of the company or a public sector entity; be regulated by a national or regional public authority for specific social or tax purposes; and allow only the purchase of specific goods or services from suppliers linked by a commercial agreement to the issuer.
In addition to CGD, Montepio, Santander and Crédito Agrícola also issue meal cards in Portugal.
Asked by the Renaissance, the supervisor does not disclose whether there are irregularities. It only guarantees that, if detected, Banco de Portugal may “require the correction of any irregularities”. It is also unclear whether this correction may entail some period of card usage inhibition or user charges.