A detailed comprehensive survey of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in France, with expert commentary backed by extensive historic and forecast data.
With mobile banking gaining traction, the focus is on customisation for different needs, value-added services from new players and innovation when it comes to the types of cards on offer. The fintech/mobile ecosystem is now ripe, with many potential partnership opportunities. As elsewhere in Europe, contactless is threatening cash and digital banks are putting pressure on traditional card offerings. The French cards market is unusual in that the standard delineation between credit and debit cards does not exist.
The report includes charts on the value of consumer payments CAGR (2015-20), card purchase transactions per adult, credit card revenue streams, credit card issuers market share by cards 2020 and credit card merchant acquiring market share 2020.
Demographics and the economy
French cards market
The card networks
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Regulatory and other cards market information
Appendices: Payment Card Data
Appendix I: Demographics and the economy
Appendix II: Payments environment
Appendix III: French cards market
Appendix IV: Mobile payments
Appendix V: Profit pool
Appendix VI: The card networks
Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers
Appendix VIII: Acquiring and processing
Appendix IX: Online acquirers
Demographics and Economy:
GDP growth of 1.5% was recorded in 2019. However, the Covid-19 pandemic led to a contraction of 8.3% in 2020. To alleviate the effects, the French government announced a $118 billion stimulus package.
The French government and central bank are promoting the adoption of contactless, mobile payments and instant transfers in place of cash and cheques for both consumers and businesses.
France is Western Europe's second-largest cards market by billed volume, behind Britain and ahead of Germany. Total purchase volume on credit and debit cards was an estimated $709 billion in 2020. This equates to 254 purchase transactions, worth a total of $13,210 per adult in the country.
Following a relatively slow start in mobile payments prior to 2018, the number of banks both traditional and online offering the service has been increasing, which is having a positive impact on the uptake.
The market is distinguished from many others in the region by the popularity of instalment loans extended through private label credit cards. Considerable income from insurance, another specific feature of the French market, has also driven profitability for credit card issuers.
Almost 85% of cards issued in France are issued on the domestic Cartes Bancaires (CB) network, with the majority of these co-badged with either Visa or Mastercard. Currently, CB has over 72 million cards in circulation with 11.8 billion purchase transactions made in 2020.
Key Retail Banks and Issuers:
The big five banking groups – BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, BPCE, Societe Generale and Credit Mutuel – dominate the issuing market in France. They issue cards through their retail banking arms as well as through consumer finance subsidiaries.
Acquiring and Processing:
In contrast to many European markets, where the traditional domestic acquirers are being squeezed out by specialist acquirers, acquiring in France is carried out by the issuing banks.
(France is Europe's third-largest e-commerce market behind Germany and Britain. Amazon is the largest online retailer, but France is home to a number of successful pure-play e-commerce merchants, including Cdiscount, and Veepee.
Regulatory and Markets Information:
The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) came into force in January 2018, with full implementation staggered over the following years. Its aim is to regulate new digital payments players which were outside the scope of PSD, create a more secure payments environment and move towards a more integrated single market.
AnaCap Financial Partners
Aumax pour moi
Banque de France
Banque Populaire et Caisse d'Epargne
Credit du Nord
Crédit Mutuel Arkéa
European Banking Authority
Financière des Paiements Electroniques
French Competition Authority
Groupe Crédit Agricole
Groupement des Cartes Bancaires
La Banque Postale
Ma French Bank
National Cashless Payments Committee
National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies
Observatory for the Security of Payment Means
Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority
Rue du Commerce
SAS Carte Bleue
Verisk financial reports include detailed market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring, retail banking, and consumer credit in Europe. Analysts use primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and finance experts.
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