France is the sixth largest online market in the world, and continues to maintain a strong, growth trajectory when it comes to e-commerce sales. In fact, the country’s retail e-commerce sales is expected to reach a total of 53.23 billion USD by 2018. If you are planning to expand your business in France, the best time to do so is now. Establish your enterprise in the online market in France with this guide.

An overview of the French online market

The online market in France offers strong potential for merchants. About 49% of French consumers in 2013 made at least one online purchase every month, according to a CA Com study cited by Ecommerce News. Popular online purchases come from fashion, ticket/travel bookings, and digital media (subscriptions, games). In 2015, 19% of total ecommerce sales came from websites outside the country – proving that there is a rising demand for digital goods and services from foreign merchants.

To effectively capture the online market in the country, you need to provide the payment methods that your prospective consumers are familiar with. This will allow them to easily make a purchase, which can result to better sales for your business. Below are some of the common payment methods in France that can help your enterprise expand in the country.

Online payment methods in France

Carte Bancaire network

The most popular payment method in France is credit cards. This is because the country’s national interbank network, the Carte Bancaire (CB), processes VISA and Mastercard co-branded credit cards, which majority of consumers use for convenience and to be able to access over 40,000 ATMs in the country. For digital purchases such as ecommerce shopping and in-game transactions, French consumers use the Carta Blue, a debit card that also works as a credit card.

Alternative payment methods

Aside from the credit and debit cards of the Carte Bancaire network, consumers in the country also take advantage of alternative payment methods for their online shopping. About 47% of consumers in 2014 used alternative payment methods for their online purchases. Alternative payment methods in France include e-wallets, prepaid cards (NeoSurf, ecoPayz, Ticket Surf), cash on delivery, against invoice, and direct debit through bank transfers. For more information, check the list of French payment methods here.

Integrate licensed payment provider

Engage consumers and maximize your revenue in France by offering a diverse range of payment methods at your website or online store. Enter the country’s online market easily by integrating a payment service provider that can process both traditional and alternative payment methods, such as Paymentwall. This way, you’ll be able to tap into the large number of card consumers in the country, and welcome alternative payment users into your store. Paymentwall also allows you to optimize the checkout experience with custom checkout APIs, which can minimize shopping cart abandonment and increase conversion rates.

Start expanding your reach in France and grow your business with Paymentwall. You can find more business monetization tips on our blog.