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The free instant transfer is about to impose itself


The Postal Bank wants to make it the standard means of payment. It deletes the transfer in 72 hours.

Revolution in the world of payment. The Postal Bank will generalize the instant transfer. Unlike the standard transfer, which takes 24 to 72 hours to complete, it allows you to send money anytime in less than ten seconds. “From May, the instant transfer will gradually replace the standard transfer, for all occasional transfers up to 1000 euros for individuals”details the subsidiary of La Poste.

This transfer will be free, the Postal Bank having removed in January the costs (70 cents for individuals) related to this service. Crédit Mutuel Arkéa (and its subsidiary Fortuneo) and Boursorama had already done so (without removing the transfer in 72 hours) to align with the free Paylib, interbank payment solution for transfers between friends. In the other networks, the instant transfer is charged 1 euro.

The death of the check

The Postal Bank hopes to create a “new market standard”. “His initiative will put pressure on his rivals,” says Julien Maldonato, partner at Deloitte. The use of instant transfers, launched in France in 2018, is still very modest, due to its price. In the first half of 2021, 62 million transfers were instantaneous, out of a total of 2.34 billion, according to the Banque de France.

The transfer has established itself in recent years as the most used method of payment (along with direct debit), behind the bank card, widely used by individuals (7.34 billion payments in the first half of 2021). In value, it is the first means of payment, with 18.840 billion euros transferred in six months in 2021. This colossal amount takes into account salaries and other payments made by companies.

In 2011, transfers had overtaken checks, the decline of which accelerated further during the health crisis. In the first six months of 2021, the French wrote 539 million checks, compared to 3.12 billion for the whole of 2010. “The end of the check is very slowexplains Julien Lasalle, secretary of the national cashless payments committee at the Banque de France. It remains privileged to pay deposits, private lessons and small businesses still use it a lot. The average payment amount is high.”

The transfer will continue to ramp up thanks to instant payment. “This service brings a real plus, especially in the context of payments between individualssays Julien Lasalle. It secures online sales of goods.” The seller of a used car no longer has to wait feverishly to find out if the buyer’s check is bad.

In the Netherlands, where instant transfers are the norm, individuals use them for their online shopping. In France, for cultural reasons, payment by credit card remains preferred on e-commerce sites. That could change. “Many countries have switched to account-to-account payment”, emphasizes Julien Maldonato. This service allows merchants to save money; individuals can use split payment.

“The bank card will eventually disappear, foresees Julien Maldonato. This is why Visa acquired Tink.” This fintech allows you to trigger a transfer from another account.

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