To boost trade Alicante Province businesses are going to be able to offer shoppers interest free credit .
The Alicante Commerce Federation has developed a pioneering banking system which enables customers to pay in installments over up to 36 months . They are working with one of the five main banks and the system will offer the same ease of payment as a customer would get with a large chain store .
The scheme will become available from September via a special card called an “I.Mas ” which already enables customers to accumulate points and obtain discounts in 500 of the federations member companies .
There are already 65,000 cards in 22 municipalities around the province .There is a waiting list of people wanting to join .The federation represents around 10,000 retailers across the province .
During the last year the National Institute of Statistics has shown that business for retailers dropped by 2.4% .Measures to stimulate buyers is needed urgently .Government reforms just aren´t working .People wanting to join the scheme have to be approved by the bank .
The bank takes the monthly payments from the customer and compensates the business within a day of the purchase . It costs 150 euros to join the scheme plus an annual fee of 30 euros plus 2% interest on each bill , so it is hardly ” interest free “.This means that for every sale of 100 euros the business pays 2 euros .