In Milan, the first cashless restaurant in Italy

In Milan, the first cashless restaurant in Italy

In Milan

The Base cultural hub, in collaboration with Nexi, has abolished cash. And, as often happens in Northern Europe, it only accepts digital payments

Cashless payments from Base in Milan (photo: Duilio Piaggesi / Ipa) No cash, we are Milanese. The cashless revolution in the shadow of the Madonnina starts from Base, a post-industrial space (it was the headquarters of Ansaldo) which for seven years has hosted bistros, coworking, bars, events, exhibitions, concerts. In collaboration with Nexi, an Italian company that deals with digital payments, since the reopening after the red zone has said goodbye to banknotes and coins and only accepts electronic payments. It is the first place open to the public, in Milan and in Italy, to have become cashless.

The initiative, which started quietly after the last closures caused by the pandemic to break in the mechanism (but the customers found it already reported on the Base website), was presented by Nexi and Base in the presence of the mayor of the city, Giuseppe Sala. The Base spaces belong, in fact, to the Municipality. "Milan always wants to be a pioneer in innovation and in innovation it is at ease", explains Sala after cutting the ribbon at Base. Underlining that a technology could only be introduced today and in Milan, in particular in a hybrid and multifunctional space such as Base. And hoping, for small businesses, also financial support (the reference is obviously to the resources of the Recovery Fund) for the transition to cashless.

In short, whether it is to pay for a coffee while using the coworking spaces or a beer in the evening in the beautiful courtyard, now at Base you can no longer use cash but only the various digital tools available ( traditional, contactless cards, apps on smartphones). “It is the first place in an Italian metropolitan city that abandons cash,” Enrico Trovati, merchant services & solutions director at Nexi, explains to Wired. There are other small Nexi experiments around Italy, he says, like an organic shop in the province of Perugia. But it is the first time that purely electronic payment has been adopted in such a large reality. “The pandemic has given a boost to the mentality in this sense,” he explains, both on the part of consumers and on the part of exhibitors. "There is more confidence".

In the specific case of Base, an existing reality has been strengthened, making available a large number of smart pos, underlines the CEO of Nexi Paolo Bertoluzzo, machines that integrate all that which is used to manage payments. “Base is a place of modern sociality, which combines work, culture, fun,” he says. "It is an opportunity to innovate and experiment at the same time". The reaction of customers in this first trial period, Matteo Bartolomeo, president of Base Milano explains to Wired, has been very positive. “We were worried that the very young, who often use our spaces to study, might encounter problems. And instead we realized that they are all equipped with electronic tools to pay ”, he continues. Among the positive effects of the cashless turnaround is the decrease in the long lines that put a strain on the checkouts in the evening, allowing users to make better use of their free time. Not only that: digital payments, in addition to being faster and simpler, "are also more transparent and we feel the responsibility of being a beacon of legality", adds Bartolomeo.

In addition to drinks at the bistro and bar of the cultural hub (located in the Tortona area, a district famous for fashion and design, in via Bergognone 34), even tickets for events, performances and exhibitions scheduled at Base or overnight stays at CasaBase residence can now be paid exclusively digitally. As it happens often and willingly in Northern Europe but which in Italy, and more generally in the Mediterranean countries, until now seemed a utopia.

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