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Attention ! This very popular means of payment in France is not without risks

© Unsplash/Emil Kalibradov

Split payment is highly appreciated and has been widely adopted by French consumers. Most e-commerce sites (Amazon, for example) offer it and even physical stores are increasingly doing so. This method of payment now makes it possible to acquire many goods of a very varied nature. In a moribund economic context where inflation is around 4%, it is necessarily more attractive. According to a study by Toluna and Harris Interactive for Fevad (Federation of e-commerce and online sales), one in four French people used it in 2023. Particularly young people and those with 8217;a more limited budget. If he's attractive at first glance, it may have some traps.

Split payment: an asset for purchasing power

Often called “payment in three or four installments without fees“, it allows the consumer to spread out the payment of a purchase over several months. Obviously, we see in the first place an advantage, because the good concerned by the purchase is available from the first payment.

The study carried out for Fevad confirms that “43 % of young people l&#8217 ;would have already used during the year 2023“. A rate which therefore appears to be rather high. Given the slightly tense nature of the economic climate, this method of payment is popular and seems to many to be a blessing.

With purchasing power in sharp decline, paying in this way can give the illusion that it has not changed that much. But as you can imagine, there is necessarily a wolf somewhere.

Underlying risks estimated

Indeed, split payment can hide some pitfalls or disadvantages. A manager of Sofinco, (a subsidiary of Crédit Agricole specializing in split payments) regrets that in reality “few French people know the clauses hidden behind these automatically programmed direct debits “.

Indeed, the practice still lacks supervision clear. Historically, it has not been regulated as much as other financial products, such as consumer credit. In reality, this translates into less protection for consumers and suppliers who are a little more relaxed regarding their obligations.

In many cases, the terms and fees associated with split payments lack transparency. For example, in the event of non-payment, certain bank penalties can reach staggering rates of 15%!

In short, this payment method, intended for making it easier for you to checkout, can also expose the most vulnerable populations to risks of over-indebtedness. At first glance it is advantageous, but one must be fully aware of the risks associated with it before committing!

  • Split payment is very widespread in France, in the e-commerce sector or even physical stores.
  • According to a study carried out for Fevad, 43% of young people would have already used it during the year 2023.
  • However, its lack of supervision and transparency can in certain cases lead to problematic situations of over-indebtedness.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116