Mobile payments on the rise in France

Mobile payments generated 794 million euros in France, in 2019, compared with 190 million euros the previous year. Although the increase is impressive, this amount remains small compared with card payments, which weigh in at around 600 billion euros.

Mobile payment: 45 million transactions in 2019

The use of cell phones as a means of payment for everyday purchases remains extremely marginal, stresses the Observatoire sur la sécurité des moyens de paiement in its latest annual report. Indeed, mobile payments, which were to gradually replace card payments, reached 794 million euros in 2019, compared with 600 billion for card payments. More specifically, mobile payments accounted for 45 million transactions in 2019, compared with 11 million in 2018.

While these increases may seem impressive, last year this means of payment accounted for just 0.18% of total transactions in terms of value and 0.38% in terms of volume.

Cards still the most popular means of payment in France

Payment by bankcard is becoming increasingly popular with the French. The health crisis and the increase in the contactless limit from 30 to 50 euros have contributed to this craze.

In 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, card payments accounted for almost half of all cashless payments made in the eurozone and 57% within the European Union, according to the European Central Bank (ECB). This mode of payment thus widens the gap with the others: credit transfers (23.3% in the EU), direct debits (17.4%), cheques (1.4%) and e-money (1.3%).

The challenge of mobile payment security

According to the Observatory, players in the mobile payment market are deploying systems that are not all equivalent in terms of the level of security achieved. It recommends that they implement systems to secure user enrolment in cell phone payment applications, and to prevent and identify high-risk transactions.

It's worth noting that by March 2021, new technical rules designed to improve the security of bank accounts and Internet purchases in the face of the growing risks associated with cybercrime will apply. These stem from the revised Payment Services Directive, or PSD2, which highlights several concepts, including strong authentication, i.e. the use of a combination of factors to ensure that the person attempting to log on to their online bank or pay by card is not an impersonator.

Web giants and startups alike seem to have realized that the future of mobile payments lies in security. As a result, this payment method is set to continue its growth over the next few years.