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Debit cards continue to dominate French payments market

Debit cards are set to remain the most widely used payment type in France over the next four years, as consumers are getting increasingly attracted by the convenience of contactless payments and the greater use of debit cards for online transactions, finds a report from Timetric.

In terms of transaction volume and value, debit cards will continue to dominate the payment cards market over the forecast period (up to 2019). This growth will be partially supported by consumer awareness of debt control and the continued migration of low-value cash payments to debit cards. Moreover, an increase in the use of contactless cards will also be one of the major drivers of this trend. According to Timetric, by 2019 the debit card transaction volume and value is expected to reach 9.4 million and EUR432.1 million respectively, compared to 8.4 million and EUR405.8 million in 2015.

“To generate new business and to increase their customer base in a matured debit card market, banks in France have turned their focus towards niche segments such as students and the young population. Product differentiation, value-added services and benefits have therefore become key differentiating factors to attract debit card users,” comments Kartik Challa, Analyst at Timetric.

Contactless will aid the growth

The French payment cards market recorded a large-scale uptake of contactless technology during the review period. The number of contactless transactions increased to 21.9 million as of September 2015, registering a staggering rise of 218% over September 2014. Between August-September 2015, the number of contactless payments increased by 20.8%.

“The ease of making quick payments using contactless cards has become very popular among both consumers and retailers in France. An increase in the number of retail outlets accepting contactless payments enabled consumers to opt for contactless cards. The number of contactless cards increased during the last five years, going from 3.4 million in 2010 to 50 million in 2015, which represented 60.1% of all French payment cards in circulation,” says Challa.

According to the report, the number of contactless cards and transaction volumes are expected to follow the same trend over the forecast period (up to 2019), as banks and POS solution providers are introducing product and service offerings to increase the uptake of contactless payments among French consumers and businesses.

This information is based on the Timetric report: ‘The Cards and Payments Industry in France: Emerging Trends and Opportunities to 2019‘.