Press Release

80 Percent of French Consumers Fear eCommerce Payments Fraud, New Survey by ACI Worldwide and OpinionWay Reveals

December 17, 2021
  • New study shows majority of French consumers believe new digital payment methods pose the highest risks of fraud
  • Shopping and payments behavior of French consumers is changing, with nearly all French consumers now shopping online and 61 percent making contactless payments on a regular basis 

MIAMI, FL/PARIS, FRANCE – December 17, 2021 – The majority of French consumers feel unsafe when shopping online, with 8 out of 10 consumers (80%) concerned about becoming victims of payments fraud when shopping via mobile phone or a computer, according to a new survey of more than 1,100 French consumers by ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW), a leading global provider of real-time digital payment software, and OpinionWay.  

Nearly all French consumers (98%) now shop online, with one in three consumers doing so regularly (34%), the survey reported. But recent industry efforts to fight online payment fraud only reassures a minority of French consumers. Last year saw the introduction of SCA (Strong Customer Authentication), a new European-wide requirement under which consumers and businesses must verify their identity with at least two authentication measures to make online payments more secure. But only 37 percent of respondents say that SCA is a reassuring factor for them when shopping online, followed by the presence of a ‘secure payment’ logo (17%) and website addresses beginning with ‘https’ (13%).  

“Shopping habits and payment behaviors among French consumers have changed dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic almost two years ago,” said Andrew Quartermaine, vice president, merchant retail, ACI Worldwide. “However, it is concerning that consumers feel unsafe when shopping online despite recent industry efforts to make online payments more secure. With eCommerce transactions in France and around the globe set to rise further, banks, merchants and payment providers must educate consumers and reassure them that online shopping is not only convenient but also secure.” 

When it comes to their preferred methods of payments, French consumers rely on a combination of cards and cash. Two-thirds of French consumers (61%) now make contactless payments regularly. The three most widely used payment methods are direct debit cards (used regularly by 71%), cash (used by 68%), and direct bank transfers (63%). The use of mobile wallets with an adoption rate of only 8 percent is still relatively low. However, the younger generation is embracing new ways to pay with almost half of 18-to-24-year old’s (48%) say the trust in mobile wallet payments.  

“Similar to other markets our research shows a generational divide among the French when it comes to payments. While many older consumers still rely on traditional payment methods, younger consumers in particular are embracing new ways to pay, such as mobile wallets,” said Andrew Quartermaine. “Retailers and merchants who adapt quickly and offer a wide variety of payment methods to accommodate different demands and preferences have a real opportunity to attract new customers and improve the experience of existing ones.”

Key Findings at a Glance:

French consumers prefer traditional payment methods: 

  • Direct debit cards are the top payment method in France, used by 71 percent of consumers who spend an average of € 401 per month on their cards.
  • 68 percent still opt for cash, spending around € 105 per month. 
  • 63 percent use direct debit to pay for their expenses such as rent or utility bills, spending € 601 each month. 
  • Only 39 percent of French consumers still use checks, with 18–24-year-olds spending €21 per month this way, while older generations (65-year+) still spend € 135 per with this method.
  • Mobile wallets are used by 8 percent of consumers in France. 

French consumers trust cash and card payments most:

  • 9 out of 10 French consumers trust cash and debit cards with a code (90%), followed closely by bank transfers and direct debit payments (89%).
  • Trust in new digital payment methods is still low. Only 30% of consumers trust mobile wallet payments (although 48% of 18–24-year-olds embrace this method); 20% trust connected devices (watches, rings, bracelets, etc.); and 14% trust cryptocurrencies.

French consumers believe new digital payment methods pose the highest risks of fraud:

  • French consumers believe that connected objects (74%), chatbots (73%), cryptocurrencies (72%) and cell phones (70%) are the payment methods that run the highest risk of fraud.
  • 54 percent of respondents feel that digital platforms such as Lydia and pose a fraud risk.
  • French consumers believe that the safest means of payment is cash (only 29% perceive a risk of fraud), followed by luncheon vouchers (31%), and bank transfers or direct debits (33%). 

eCommerce and in-store fraud:

  • 9 out of 10 French consumers (89%) fear being a victim of fraud in at least one of the following remote payment situations: paying by phone with an operator (82%), paying online via a cell phone (79%) or paying via a computer (78%).
  • Even when paying in-store with a physical payment method (credit card, cell phone, etc.), 54 percent of respondents fear becoming a victim of fraud. 

eCommerce shopping behavior:

  • 98 percent make online purchases, including 1 in 3 regularly (34%).
  • Key criteria for French consumers when shopping online: cost of delivery (51%), prices offered online (49%), home delivery or click & collect (42%), delivery time (38%).
  • Surprisingly, less than 3 out of 10 consumers (28%) consider security measures taken by the online merchant to be important.

eCommerce and Security: 

  • 37 percent of respondents said the use of a strong authentication method (sending a code by SMS, verification via mobile phone, etc.) reassures them most when shopping online, followed by the presence of a ‘secure payment’ logo (17%) and website addresses that begin with https (13%).
  • Opinions of other customers or the fact that the website is based in France are considered as reassuring elements by only 5 percent each.

French consumers and their banks, a question of trust: 

  • 91 percent of respondents are customers of traditional banks, while 6 percent bank with an online or a challenger bank.
  • Consumers trust their banks, first and foremost, to protect their personal data (81%), and to protect them from fraud (80%).

Survey conducted on October 20 and 21, 2021, among a sample of 1,121 people representative of the French population aged 18 and over. This sample was interviewed by self-administered online questionnaire on the CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interview) system.

About ACI Worldwide
ACI Worldwide is a global software company that provides mission-critical real-time payment solutions to corporations. Customers use our proven, scalable and secure solutions to process and manage digital payments, enable omni-commerce payments, present and process bill payments, and manage fraud and risk. We combine our global footprint with local presence to drive the real-time digital transformation of payments and commerce.  

About Opinionway
Founded in March 2000, OpinionWay is a pioneer in the digitalization of research and a major player in the innovation of marketing and opinion research. Its mission is to make the world intelligible in order to act today and imagine tomorrow. The company is active in a number of fields, including market understanding, brand issues, product and service development, etc., with B2B and B2C targets for high-profile clients. OpinionWay is an active member of Esomar and has been developing a CSR policy since 2007. It has been ISO 20252 certified by AFNOR since 2009 and is a member of CroissancePlus.

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