Posted on Oct 19, 2021 6:55 PMUpdated Oct 19, 2021, 7:02 PM
The split payment sector continues to arouse the vigilance of the authorities. In a report on the over-indebtedness eagerly awaited by the sector, the deputy Philippe Chassaing called on Tuesday to “legislate without delay” to frame the booming market of payment in several installments and mini-credits.
“Given the strong development of these financing methods, a priori accelerated by the health crisis and the growth of online commerce […], it seems necessary to strengthen the regulatory framework, in order to guarantee a high level of consumer protection, ”recommends MP LREM. And without waiting for a decision at European level.
The concern of the parliamentarian, whose report was commissioned by the government six months ago, is based in particular on the fact that these new services do not fall under the regulation of consumer credit, although they ” share similar characteristics ”.
Mini-loans, whose amounts are less than 200 euros, and split payments, whose repayment periods do not exceed three months, in fact escape the rules governing classic consumer credit. As such, their suppliers do not necessarily carry out a customer solvency analysis.
4% of consumer credit in France
” While [le paiement fractionné] was generally confined to purchases of large amounts (automobile, large household appliances, etc.), it spread to purchases of lesser amount, particularly on e-commerce sites, ”underlines the report which specifies that the data of this market are still “fragmented”. The risk: the proliferation of these solutions could push consumers into over-indebtedness.
According to the Banque de France, which for the first time managed to isolate these services in its monthly monitoring of consumer credit, the French outstanding amount is around 7 billion euros, or just under 4% of credit. for consumption. But several consulting firms are still predicting double-digit growth in the coming years, as has been the case over the past two years all over the world.
Reform of the European directive
Despite the warning from the member for Dordogne – who admits that he does not have “evidence” linking fractional payments to over-indebtedness for the moment – Bruno Le Maire does not wish to advance the revision of the European directive to legislate on the subject.
On the contrary, the Minister of Finance wishes to take advantage of the forthcoming presidency of the European Union by France to push for a reform of the “ambitious” consumer credit directive, without giving more details for the moment. The installment payment is a “matter of concern” for the government, he said during the press conference held Tuesday on the occasion of the publication of the report.
The European Commission published a first proposal to revise the directive this summer. It calls for the integration of new payment facilities into the framework of traditional consumer credit, in particular by making more visible “information related to loans. […] so that consumers understand what they are committing to ”.
“A loan is a loan and at Alma, it is clearly visible,” says Louis Chartriot, the founder and boss of French fintech specializing in split payment. We clearly need a European framework, but it must remain proportional. The requirements cannot be the same as for classic consumer credit. “
For Younited Credit, the fintech specializing in consumer credit, on the other hand, we need to more firmly regulate split payment and “get ahead” of the rest of Europe. “Obtaining a loan of 200 euros in a few seconds, that raises questions”, affirms his boss Geoffroy Guigou.
The day before the publication of this report, the European fintech star of the sector, Klarna, announced that in the United Kingdom, it was going to anticipate potential regulation and presented its payment solution… as a debt.