The Most Popular Payment Methods in France
What might be surprising is how many different types of payments are used in France each year, so let’s take a look at the most popular payment methods in France! This article will help you determine which payment method works best for your situation and discuss the pros and cons of each type of payment method.
In spite of what you may think, only 30% of French citizens use cash regularly. This percentage is slightly higher for French people living in rural areas. However, even when including these cash-friendly rural residents, there are still only about 50% of French citizens who use it to pay for goods and services on a regular basis. The rest rely mostly on credit cards or bank transfers.
The French are big credit card users; although sometimes scoffed at as not being very practical, they’re used frequently and largely accepted as an acceptable method of payment. In fact, more than 80% of French people have a credit card, with 45% of those owning two or more cards. This kind of popularity doesn’t come without good reason; credit cards give consumers a sense of financial freedom and security. Not to mention, all major banks offer some sort of loyalty program—essentially meaning extra rewards for using their product. Credit cards also provide excellent fraud protection and allow you to build your credit score over time if you use them responsibly.
A growing number of people are using a digital wallet to pay for goods and services. These wallets allow people to save their credit card information and make purchases quickly without having to enter a lot of personal information. In 2016, digital wallets made up 22% of transactions across France. This is an increase from just 2% in 2012. However, while they may be growing increasingly popular, many consumers still prefer cash over mobile payments. Around 41% of French people say they prefer paying with cash even though it can be less secure than other options. As people become more comfortable with paying digitally, experts believe that payment methods will continue to shift as well.
Some of the most popular digital wallets in France include:
This is a French application that allows you to load your credit or debit card with euro and pay through your smartphone. This is a great solution for last-minute purchases. The charge can be canceled within an hour if you realize you’ve been charged twice, which has happened to me more than once.
Today, Paypal is one of France’s most important e-payment systems. This platform allows you to make purchases on internet websites, as well as transfer money to a bank account or to someone else directly through email. Most people choose to use Paypal because it is fast and safe and does not require them to have a bank account.
With Apple Pay, you can purchase items from websites and apps and use them to buy products in brick-and-mortar stores. You just need to hold your iPhone 6 (or later) near an NFC reader for a few seconds. In some cases, you can use your fingerprint to authorize a purchase. The card that comes with Apple Pay is issued by MasterCard or Visa, depending on your bank—if you already have one of these cards, there’s no need to get a new one.
This is Google’s mobile payments app, and it’s accepted anywhere that has a contactless reader. Google Pay can also be used to make payments online by logging into any site or app that accepts them as a form of payment. In 2018, Google Pay became available throughout Europe. Since then it has been a popular payment method in France.
One of the great European fintech companies, N26 is a mobile-only bank. It offers customers a full banking experience – but without branch offices or ATM cash machines. I have an account with them and use their service for my personal finances. If you’re on the go, it might be a better solution than your traditional bank account.