A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in France.
The Verisk Financial Research France Country Report delivers commentary on France's retail banking and payments landscape supported by historic and forecast data. The report gives detailed insight into the market's key players, including cards networks, issuers, acquirers, banks, and PSPs, plus France's payments infrastructure, digital and mobile payments developments, demographic and consumer trends, regulatory drivers, credit card profitability, and more.
Demographics and the economy
French cards market
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: Cards market
Appendix IV: Mobile payments
Appendix V: Profit pool
Appendix VI: The card networks
Appendix VII: Debit card interchange fees by network
Appendix IX: Online acquirers
Demographics and Economy: With a high birth rate and immigration, France's 2017 population of 65 million is forecast to reach 74 million in 2050. As in other European countries, the French population is ageing: the proportion of over-60s in the population will increase to 37% in 2050.
France's payments ecosystem, in common with many Western economies, is currently in the process of evolving from one dominated by traditional payment methods such as cash, cards, cheques and bank transfers to a more digital-centric one.
France is Western Europe's second-largest cards market by billed volume. Total purchase volume on credit and debit cards was an estimated $687 billion in 2018. This equates to 264 purchase transactions worth a total of $12,398 per adult in the country.
Mobile payments have yet to gain significant traction among French consumers though competition between providers is growing. Providers offer differing selections of payments solutions with online and POS payments, peer-to-peer payments and loyalty offers among the key services.
Although the absence of a fully developed revolving credit cards market has restricted credit card profitability, local issuers have adjusted their business models to better suit French consumers' attitudes towards credit.
Almost 90% of cards issued in Visa France are issued on the domestic Cartes Bancaires network, with virtually all of these co-badged with either Visa or Mastercard. Domestic transactions on co-badged cards have traditionally been processed through CB with the Visa or Mastercard network used for international transactions.
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. With a combined share of 78% of transactions, the top five banking groups are also the largest acquirers.
France is Europe's second-largest e-commerce market behind Britain. Amazon is the largest online retailer, but France is home to a number of successful pure-play e-commerce merchants, including Cdiscount and Vente-Privee.
Regulatory and Markets Information:
Several fundamental laws define the organisation and development of the French banking and financial system. The Banking Act of 24 January 1984 created a common legal framework for all credit institutions and defined the principles aimed at guaranteeing the stability of the banking system.
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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