In 2020, the online payments market continued to evolve rapidly among payment solution providers, driven by increased e-commerce activity and innovation. Although the French market shows a certain hesitancy towards digital wallets and mobile payment solutions compared to other European countries, e-commerce sales in France have been rising steadily and are set to exceed the 100 billion euro mark. globally, online purchases reached $6.7 trillion in 2023, with China leading in terms of volume and the UK dominating in Europe with 149.7 billion transactions.

The Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) introduced in Europe imposes "strong authentication" to enhance transaction security, which could impact on ease of use for consumers. Mobile payment solutions have shown strong potential growth trajectories, expanding the role of smartphones in online shopping. Crypto-currencies remained a speculative and volatile payment method, with regulations still unclear.

Security remains a crucial concern in online payments, with constant innovation aimed at gaining consumer trust. The market is highly competitive, with established international players such as PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as emerging fintech solutions tapping the market, underlining the importance of innovation and security. Local startups are also marking their territory; Lydia, for example, boasts over a million users, reflecting the dynamic nature of this market segment.

The payment services market has attracted a variety of new players, including technology giants and fintech startups, with a continuing trend towards consolidation through mergers and acquisitions among established players such as Worldline and Ingenico. Fees charged by payment service providers have varied, with some leveraging their extensive networks to charge higher fees. The increased penetration of online payment solutions varies by sector, with apparel, culture and tourism being more digitally oriented, while other sectors, such as multimedia and DIY, retain predominantly offline purchasing methods.

Analysis of online payment market demand trends in France

The online payment market in France, as in the rest of the world, is undergoing a significant transformation, driven by the rapid growth of e-commerce. French e-commerce sales have soared to between 85 and 95 billion euros, indicating a substantial increase on previous years. This boom can be attributed to a growing range of offers within Europe, an increase in e-commerce sites and the proliferation of marketplaces. More and more French consumers are buying online, with around 60% of the population making purchases online. However, compared to European averages, the French are more conservative in their online purchasing habits, with around 32% buying less than once a month, compared to the EU average of around 25%.

Although a little behind its neighbors, the French market offers enormous potential, given that a significant proportion - around 84% of 18-39 year-olds - prefer online shopping. In terms of payment preferences, credit cards dominate the French market. Other payment methods, such as PayPal or virtual wallets, have a smaller share. Credit cards account for 61% of online transactions, while services such as PayPal account for 29%, and other solutions appear marginal.

Although mobile payment solutions are less widely used in France than in other European countries, they are showing strong growth prospects. This is evidenced by the soaring projections for the smartphone payment segment, which suggest higher growth rates than the industry average.

The French market is also characterized by a high number of e-commerce sites. An exponential growth of e-commerce platforms has been observed. These platforms have different penetration rates for online payment solutions, depending on their specific sectors.

The main players in the online payment market

  • PayPal: Pioneering giant PayPal is at the forefront of the online payment sector. Acquired by eBay in July 2002, this forerunner has consolidated its position thanks to user trust and widespread acceptance. The platform has moved beyond its origins as a payment processor for eBay to become a comprehensive financial services provider, boasting a global presence. Its user-friendly interface and robust security features have made it a top choice for consumers wary of the risks associated with online payments. The ability to carry out transactions without disclosing card details has reinforced its dominant position and maintained consumer confidence.

  • Ingenico: the agile acquirer The Ingenico group has distinguished itself through strategic acquisitions that have enabled it to expand its presence worldwide. This French company has not only added robust payment solutions, but has also exploited the network effect by bringing complementary companies into its fold. Ingenico's acquisition of Ogone, a major player specializing in online and mobile payment services, marked a turning point, enabling the company to offer a more diversified range of payment options and meet the evolving demands of online merchants and consumers alike.

  • Worldline: a fast-growing competitor Worldline has continued to grow relentlessly, embarking on a series of acquisitions that have enabled it to rapidly increase its stature in the sector. Notable acquisitions include Banksys and SIX Payment Services, the latter a colossal $2.3 billion deal. Thanks to these strategic moves, Worldline has not only expanded its capabilities, but also built a solid infrastructure capable of meeting the vast demands of the online payments market. These acquisitions have also demonstrated Worldline's commitment to ensuring a large-scale operational presence and providing comprehensive financial technology solutions.

  • Lydia: The disruptive startup A star child on the French fintech scene, Lydia has experienced exponential growth, with over a million users. Its record growth testifies to the startup's ability to tap into the millennial market, a demographic group increasingly inclined towards digital consumption and innovative financial services. Lydia's less conventional marketing approach, which relies heavily on word-of-mouth, complements its disruptive presence in a landscape dominated by established financial institutions.

  • Google Pay and Apple Pay: the incursion of technology titans Not to be outdone by the incumbent financial institutions, technology giants Google and Apple have entered the fray with their own solutions: Google Pay and Apple Pay. These services draw on the extensive ecosystems of their respective companies, and integrate seamlessly into the lives of users who are consumers.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Presentation and definition of the online payment market

In 2018, the French spent 90 billion on the Internet [ FEVAD All of these purchases were made possible thanks to online payment solutions, which therefore make it possible to pay and exchange money over the Internet using a computer system.

E-commerce is driven by broadening the offer in Europe and the increase in the number of sites as well as by the development of marketplaces. Faced with this rise in online purchases, there are more and more online payment players and innovation is key to gaining market share. One of the key factors of success in this market is the security of payments to gain the confidence of merchants on the one hand, and private individuals on the other.

European and international competition is intense with players such as Paypal and Amazon Pay that are solidly implanted. Besides.., VISA offers a new system of reloadable smart cards allowing online payment for blocked amounts

Giants like Google and Apple also offer online payment solutions ( Google Pay and Apple Pay ) while fintechs The Banque de France's financial markets, which are sometimes supported by the major French banks, as is the case with Paylib s, are proposing alternative solutions. Among the Sector's start-ups, Lydia posted record growth and already had more than of one million users in 2018 .

List of charts

  • Evolution du chiffre d'affaires du e-commerce
  • E-commerce sales
  • Evolution du nombre de transactions en ligne
  • Part des internautes et de l'ensemble de la population française faisant des achats sur Internet
  • Produits et services achetés
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Latest news

Revolut: the coming of age of a British success story - 18/01/2024
  • The company was founded in 2015.
  • In 2018, Revolut obtained its first banking license in Lithuania.
  • 25% to 30% of their business comes from the UK.
  • The company was valued at £33 billion at a fundraising in July 2021.
  • Revolut expects profits in excess of 300 million euros in 2023.
  • The company currently has 35 million customers, a figure it plans to increase tenfold over the next 5-6 years.
  • In Ireland, Revolut's adoption rate exceeds 50%.
  • Nearly 9 million customers were acquired by Revolut in the space of a year.
  • Currently, Revolut has almost 8 million customers in the UK, representing 12% of the population.
Revolut neobank plans to double sales in 2023 - 26/12/2023
  • Revolut reported net profit after tax of €6.7 million in 2022.
  • Revolut, founded in 2015, is now present in 38 countries.
  • By 2022, Revolut had gained nearly 10 million customers worldwide.
  • Sales increased by 45% in 2022, exceeding one billion euros.
  • Revolut should have 37 million customers in 2023, including 2.5 million in France.
  • Revolut's revenues should almost double compared to 2022, approaching two billion euros.
  • Revolut employs 8,000 people.
Revolut to almost double sales by 2023 - 22/12/2023
  • Revolut posted a net profit of £5.8 million in 2022
  • The fintech's net profit in 2021 was £26 million.
  • Revolut has over 35 million customers in 38 countries.
  • The fintech belongs to the club of companies with sales in excess of one billion euros.
  • Its revenues in 2022 reached £919 million, up 45% on 2021. Revenues are expected to almost double in 2023, with a forecast of £1.7 billion.
  • The fintech has begun offering consumer loans in France ranging from €1,000 to €50,000 for a term of 7 years.
  • Revolut has 2.5 million customers in France. Revolut intends to focus on organic growth rather than acquisitions.
Crédit Mutuel Leasing strengthens its position with Roulenloc - 03/10/2023
  • Crédit Mutuel Leasing has been in business for 60 years.
  • They have recently acquired Roulenloc and its online car leasing platform
  • Crédit Mutuel Leasing has been in the car leasing business for 10 years.
  • 35.000 car leasing contracts.
  • 20% market share in equipment financing for professionals and businesses.
  • Roulenloc has around twenty employees.
  • 70% of Roulenloc's €14 million sales in 2022 will come from long-term leasing.
  • The remainder of sales will come from rental with purchase option and a hybrid subscription format.
  • Today, 80% of Roulenloc's solutions are aimed at private customers.
  • The former managers of Roulenloc now hold over 10% of the capital.
  • The Crédit Mutuel network has 4,500 branches.
Nickel, the French low-cost bank aiming to conquer Europe - 25/09/2023
  • Founded in 2014, the Nickel account was acquired by BNP Paribas in 2017. Nickel is already present in Spain, Portugal and Belgium.
  • Nickel is aiming for 600,000 customers and 5,000 points of sale in Germany within the next five years.
  • Nickel employs 800 people. Nickel has been profitable since 2018, with net income of €7 million by 2022.
  • In France, Nickel's banking offer is distributed at a minimum annual subscription fee of €20, in 7,200 tobacconists.
  • 3.3 million people have opened a Nickel account, and the company expects to have 4 million account openings by 2024.
  • Two-thirds of Nickel customers have chosen it as their main bank.
  • The profile of Nickel customers is diverse: a third have banking problems, another third want to pay fewer bank charges, and the rest use Nickel as a secondary account.
  • At Nickel, the average annual banking bill is 70 euros.
  • Nickel plans to expand its product range to include term savings accounts, insurance and consumer credit.
  • Hello Bank! will soon be inviting 800,000 Orange Bank customers to join its ranks.
Nickel ready to forge partnerships in credit and insurance - 06/07/2023
  • Nickel employs 800 people.
  • Nickel plans to expand its range of services, in particular by exploring the fields of credit, insurance and savings.
  • Nickel was acquired by BNP Paribas six years ago.
  • Nickel has 3.2 million customers.
  • Nickel offers banking services such as a Mastercard payment card, traditional online banking services and the possibility of withdrawing money for free at one of its 7,200 partner tobacconists for 20 euros a year.
  • Nickel has been profitable since 2018.
  • In 2022, Nickel posted net income of 7 million euros.
  • Nickel plans to launch a first offer at the end of the year in collaboration with other partners.
  • BNP Paribas, Nickel's parent company, is in talks with Orange to welcome up to 800,000 Orange Bank customers to its Hello Bank subsidiary.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Groupement des cartes bancaires CB
Google Pay
Apple Pay
Crédit Agricole Groupe

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