france

EUROPE

After adopting SCT Inst in 2018, France has seen phenomenal IP growth up 211% YOY — and this is only set to continue, with a 53.7% five-year CAGR predicted.

SCT Inst is based on SEPA credit transfers, which operate 24/7/365. Groupe BPCE was the first financial institution to introduce SCT Inst in France in July 2018. The platform enables customers to transfer money to accounts at participating banks in the network. SCT Inst supports both individual and business transactions, facilitating P2P, C2B, B2C and B2B payments directly between accounts through different channels, including online and mobile banking.

Funds are settled in near-real time, with recipient banks required to credit amounts to their customers no more than 10 seconds after a payment is received. A maximum of €15,000 ($17,183) per transaction is allowed (the regular SCT Inst limit), but the limit can be increased based on bilateral agreement. All major banks in the country are participants, along with many others. SCT Inst transactions are processed by Clearing and Settlement Mechanisms primarily through STET with connections to TIPS and RT1.

Timeline

MARKET DEVELOPMENT

ACCEPTANCE
  • Consumers
  • Banks
  • Merchants
  • Billers

TOTAL PARTICIPANTS

>125

Population banking level

1.64

Number of debit, credit and charge cards per adult

66

Index to global average

U

Underbanked

Key statistics

2018

IP launch year

Immediate payments types

Single instance, bulk payments

Initiation & authorization

Bank account

ISO 20022

Message standard

Transactions

236M

2019

2B

2024f

53.7%

F5 Yr CAGR

21%

% of adults who have a mobile wallet and have used it in the past year

Share of volumes by payments instrument

Transactions

2019
2024

Spend (USD)

2019
2024
  • Paper-based payments
  • Electronic payments
  • Immediate payments

Immediate payments volume and its share in overall NON-PAPER-BASED transactions, 2018-24f

% of total electronic payments transaction volume

Insight

France is one of the more recent countries to connect to the pan-European scheme when compared to its neighbors. However, the country is set up for strong adoption, given the diversity of segments accepting IP, combined with the relatively low ownership rate for payment cards among adults.

Accordingly, growth is forecast to continue on a strong trajectory for at least the next five years. However, as is true in other SCT Inst countries, the limited payment initiation methods make usage more cumbersome, leaving the door open for enhancements to user experience. With mobile wallet adoption still low, though growing, additional opportunities exist for IP integration into wallets which would boost use cases and convenience.

ACI’s take

France’s financial institutions may have been slower to enable IP than some of their European counterparts, but the market should not underestimate the growth trajectory of its transaction volumes.

France has the same regulatory mandate as the rest of Europe, thanks to PSD2, but some of the key indicators of real-time success are even stronger than that of its neighbors. The relatively low number of traditional payment instruments per person indicates a lack of acceptable choice for consumers, but the existing rate of usage for mobile wallets shows a digital-savvy population.

Integrating IP into mobile wallets could be the key to unlocking the potential of real-time in France. Leveraging mobile payments in combination with merchant connectivity to the STET clearing and settlement mechanism creates a digital ecosystem ready to take advantage of IP.

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