Pascal Frasnetti, consumer section manager for the magazine Le Individual, the group’s monthly Le Figaro, covered all the means of payment available to individuals in France, and reminds us of their advantages but also the pitfalls to be aware of.
franceinfo: With the rise of new technologies, are checks and cash threatened with extinction?
Pascal Frasnetti: No, we’re not there at all. Cash still represents 68% of in-store payments. Remember that coins or banknotes are legal tender and cannot, as such, be refused by a merchant. So cash is practical, because you can pay a professional up to a limit of € 1,000 and there is no ceiling for a payment between individuals, you simply have to write an invoice for any transaction over 1,500. €.
As for the check, its use is declining every year: less than 15% of transactions in 2019. It is still popular with French people for whom this means of payment is free and without a limit. It is much less appreciated by traders: you should know that the check remains the most defrauded means of payment. Retailers can therefore either limit its use, for example by imposing a minimum purchase amount, or the presentation of an identity document, or refuse it, provided it is clearly displayed in the store.
And one of the peculiarities in France is the place taken by the bank card
The bank card accounts for more than half of non-cash payments: 58% in 2019. So it does not allow all transactions, especially payment between individuals, but the French have adopted it for multiple reasons: withdrawal or payment anywhere in the world, complete range of insurance and assistance services for their holders, protection also with enhanced authentication with the sending of a one-time code and now identification by facial recognition or digital.
And then the appeal of the card was further reinforced with the appearance of the contactless function, the limit of which was increased from € 30 to € 50 on May 11, and which played its role as a barrier gesture during the crisis. sanitary.
You also recall that contactless payment is available in a telephone version
It is true ! To access it, you must first have a mobile phone equipped with NFC contactless technology, then download one of the 4 applications that now allow payment by telephone. The advantage: unlike card contactless, there is no cap when you make a purchase. And then this formula is more secure than contactless by card, because the customer must first unlock his phone, then sometimes identify himself with a security code or a biometric fingerprint beyond a certain limit.
Curiously, you say that payment by transfer is enjoying a new lease of life?
Yes, the French are not yet familiar with this tool, but since the end of 2017, it is possible to make an instant transfer, made within 10 seconds. This service is accessible 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. This paid solution (€ 1 on average at banks) is faster than a traditional transfer (one working day delay, ie up to 3 calendar days). But the bank transfer obliges the beneficiary to communicate his details. Conversely, many services (Paylib, PayPal, Lydia, Pumpkin, etc.) allow you to transfer funds to an individual, always by transfer, by simply entering their phone number (or email address) on a mobile app. . It is then up to the beneficiary to enter his Iban himself, which limits the exchange of bank details.
And finally, most of these players also offer a digital wallet service, which also avoids the communication of the bank card number. This service can be activated from an app, on the customer area of your bank’s website, or by creating an online account. You are then free to choose this solution at the time of payment, if the merchant accepts it.