The French banking industry has been called upon to make a bigger investment in electronic payment methods, under proposals to halve the number of cheques processed in the next five years.
With the increasing dematerialization of all business transactions from purchase orders, invoices through to payments, the resilience of paper cheques as a payment mechanism in France is an anachronism.
Granted, France has an extensive real world branch network to support their customer base - almost four times the number of bank branches than in the UK for example - but it is not dissimilar to Germany which also has and extensive branch network but where
cheques are virtually non-existent.
I suspect the “€2.4bn to handle and process” cheques does not include the cost of cheque fraud. According to some estimates, cheque fraud in the USA, a similar cheque intensive country, cost consumers and banks an estimated $20Bn a year. If France suffers
similar levels of cheque fraud, then a rapid migration to secure electronic payments would be hugely beneficial.
© Finextra Research 2013