Card, cash, check… How do the French pay for their Christmas shopping?

Baptist Morin

As the end of year celebrations approach, how will the French pay for their purchases? In recent years, consumers have changed their payment habits, jostled by current events and technical progress. From now on, the cash is abandoned in favor of the card, even if disparities exist between the social classes.

It’s the penultimate weekend to do your Christmas shopping. Toys, foie gras, toast… Shopping carts should be well filled in supermarkets. But at checkout, how will the French pay for their purchases? Cash, card or cheque? the question arises as consumer habits have changed in recent years.

Education, a variable of habits

From now on, cash seems to be gradually disappearing from our uses. According to the Banque de France, less than one in 10 French people say they prefer coins and banknotes to pay for their purchases in stores. However, cash remains the most used means of payment in stores and between individuals.

It is a paradox in which some see a generational or geographical phenomenon. “The only really significant criterion is the level of education,” explains Christophe Baud-Berthier, director of fiduciary activities at the Banque de France. “The more people have studied, the less she uses cash.”

Contactless payment is becoming more and more popular

Nevertheless, other means of payment are progressing and many businesses are supporting this movement, with, for example, the gradual phasing out of the minimum amount of payment by card. There was also the advent of contactless payment during the health crisis.

Next step: the development of payment by telephone. From there to see the liquid disappear completely? No, don’t worry, the envelope under the tree still has a bright future ahead of it.