Instant micro-credit players called to order

In a press release published on March 31, 2022, the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR) reminds us that only licensed professionals are authorized to market small loans. However, some instant micro-credit players operating without authorization do not comply with the usury rate ceiling.

Borrow money instantly or very quickly

Imported from Anglo-Saxon countries, instant mini-loans have been available in France for several years now, enabling borrowers to borrow between 200 and 2,500 euros, depending on the lender, and obtain the money instantly or very quickly.

Depending on the case, instant microloans are presented as an advance on salary, a way of financing an unforeseen expense, or an alternative to bank overdraft to make ends meet. Because of their short repayment period (generally less than 3 months), they are not considered as consumer credit, but as payment facilities, and are therefore exempt from all regulations, in particular the lender's obligation to provide a pre-contractual information sheet and to check the borrower's solvency.

In recent years, the instant micro-credit market has exploded, attracting more and more consumers. There are three types of player:

  • specialized credit institutions (Floa Bank, Lydia, Novum Bank, etc.),
  • online banks (Boursorama Banque),
  • Fintechs (Bling, Finfrog, etc.).

A very high cost

There has been much criticism of instant loans. In a survey published in April 2021, UFC-Que Choisir denounced the "mind-boggling"cost of this method of financing in relation to the service provided. Its study shows that the annualized rate for a 100-euro instant mini-loan varies from 21% to 2234%, a rate level that far exceeds the usury rate. The consumers' association has lodged a complaint for misleading commercial practices against three market players: Bling, Cashper and Floa bank.

To adapt current regulations to this new form of credit, the European Commission says it is working on a new consumer credit directive, the text of which should be published in the 2nd half of 2022.

Regulator calls players to order

Pending a possible change in consumer credit regulations, the ACPR, in a press release, draws borrowers' attention to the fact that microloans offered by certain providers, fintechs or mobile apps can only be provided by approved companies listed on the register of financial agents (REGAFI). These players must also respect the limits set by the prohibition on usury.


Micro-credit application Bling is one of the Fintechs targeted by the regulator. Its CEO, Pierre-Eloi Acar, has requested an urgent meeting with the ACPR.

"We hope that this meeting will tell us whether our application for approval has a chance of succeeding in the coming months. In themeantime, our customers are once again subject to exorbitant bank overdraft charges", he asserts.