Essential FAQs About the California Skip the Slip Bill

Image courtesy of iStockPhoto.com

Image courtesy of iStockPhoto.com

California Assemblyman Phil Ting has introduced new legislation known as the Skip the Slip bill requiring California merchants to offer eReceipts as the primary proof of purchase for transactions occurring within the state. By passing the law, Assemblyman Ting aims to reduce the 12 billion pounds of carbon emissions and 686 million pounds of waste annually created by paper receipts in addition to the harmful exposure to chemicals resulting from the handling of BPA laden paper receipts. So far the bill has passed the California Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and the Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection en route to a final vote by the full Assembly.

What is the California Skip the Slip Bill?

California Skip the Slip Bill, AB-161, is proposed legislation requiring businesses to provide customers with a digital receipt, commonly referred to as an eReceipt, as the primary proof of purchase. However, under the new law consumers can request to receive a printed receipt instead of an eReceipt.

How Do I Know If My Company Will Be Affected By the Skip the Slip Legislation?

You are likely affected if your business:

  • Sells in California

  • Accepts Credit/Debit Cards

  • Grosses $1 million or more in receipts

  • Is Consumer Facing

How Much Time Does My Company Have Until We Are Required to Switch to eReceipts?

Businesses will be required to offer eReceipts to consumers as the primary proof of purchase starting January 1, 2022.

How Long Does it Typically Take to Enable eReceipts?

The amount of time needed to implement eReceipts at your business typically depends on the type of technical integration required (Point of Sale, API, SMPT Parser, Print Driver)  and the type of content being featured on your eReceipts. Some of the leading eReceipt providers (especially those offering native Point of Sale integrations) can have eReceipts activated in your stores within weeks. Information about the steps to implement eReceipts can be found here.

What is the Cost to Offer eReceipts at My Stores?

There is not a defined cost for launching eReceipts since a variety of factors (including the number of stores supported, type of integration required and featured content requested) come into play. However, retailers leveraging eReceipts to promote omnichannel sales and in-store bounce back typically see an ROI in as little as six months.

Will My Customers’ Data Remain Secure with eReceipts?

While eReceipt providers have differing security standards, merchants should seek a solution that adheres to the highest level of data security, encryption, and compliance.

Be sure that your eReceipt vendor complies with at least the following standards:

  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

  • SOC II Type 1 Audit

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) -256

  • CAN/SPAM, CASL & GDPR

Will There Be a Penalty for Not Complying Once the Bill Passes?

The Attorney General, district attorney and city attorneys will be responsible for enforcing the new law. As of now, the first two violations will result in notices which are immediately followed by a $25 penalty fee for each day after the notice that the violation continues. The maximum annual penalty is currently capped at $300 (likely per store, although the current language in the bill is unclear).

The Future of Printed Receipts

Skip the Slip has exposed the costs and negative impact of printed receipts on the environment and public health. While printed receipts have been offered to consumers for decades, the benefits for both consumers and retailers today are negligible, particularly in today’s mobile-fashioned, digital-oriented world. In fact, eReceipts represent a valuable alternative with benefits for both retailers and consumers. With eReceipts, retail marketers are provided another touchpoint for sending personalized messages to consumers. These messages can result in increased participation in loyalty programs, added insights from shopper feedback surveys and new omnichannel purchases based on intelligent product recommendations. For consumers, digital receipts allow for easy recall of previous purchases right from a smartphone. Consumers are also able to learn about related products and special offers relevant to their interests and buying habits.

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