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Despite fraud, check resisted in France

Twenty years ago it was the preferred means of payment for the French. Today, its use has declined significantly, with a check accounting for just 3.9% of transactions (compared to 11% in 2015), much less than a bank card (56.9%).

However, it is far from extinct and its use remains at a very high level compared to the few countries where it still exists. “Of ten checks made in Europe, eight are in France,” recalls Catherine Boydin, Head of Retail Payments at BNP Paribas.

1.1 billion check payments in 2021

Why is this precious piece of paper resisted in France? First, on the regulatory issue. “The Banque de France requires institutions to provide their customers with a free means of payment and it specifically lists a check,” said Celine González, head of retail checks at BNP Paribas.

A client who does not want to use the booklet has the opportunity to refuse it. But in practice, this document is requested in many cases, for example, for children’s school trips, vacation bookings or doctor visits. “Every time I visit my dentist, I put a reminder on myself. take my checkbook because I know I can’t pay otherwise,” lamented the 50-year-old who would like to break up with her.

As a result, at a time when consumers can pay contactless via their smartphone or even a connected watch, a check still represents 1.1 billion payments in 2021. However, the argument may contribute to its disappearance. “This is the most deceived means of payment, as it accounts for 37% of fraud on an average amount of 1948 euros,” insists Sophie Liotier from the educational website La Finance pour tous.

Frauds range from checkbook theft to mule scams. “A person asks you to cash a check in exchange for cash, and a few days later, during a bank check, you realize that it is a fake,” illustrates Sophie Liotier.

The Bank of France recently warned individuals about the presence of counterfeit checks in circulation, on which it appears as the issuing bank. If your interlocutor gives you such a document for payment, beware of scammers. Because individuals can no longer have an account with the Banque de France from 2021.

Source: Le Parisien

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