French Innovation Reinvents Cash for Online Purchases
A new payment option is available to customers in France that will enable anyone to pay for online purchases using cash, offering greater protection against fraud.
The Point Cash System—recently announced in Le Parisien—is being hailed as ‘a reinvention of cash’. Selecting the option at checkout when purchasing online, customers receive a barcode by email that they can then present at one of 1,600 participating shops to pay in cash and receive the item.
10 percent of the population does not have a bank card, and 56 percent of French people are afraid of falling victim to fraud when buying online. We believe there is a real market [for cash] as an alternative.”
To avoid sellers being defrauded, customers will be asked to send a photograph of themselves and a piece of photo ID to Brinks, the service provider. An AI system will validate the buyer’s identity and approve them for using the service.
Cash is France’s most-used payment choice, with a late 2020 survey showing 97 percent of people use it regularly, and a vast majority cite it as an essential part of social inclusion. Merchants were reminded at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that accepting cash is compulsory by law, and refusal of coins and banknotes is punishable by a €150 fine.
With that in mind, the audience for the new service is potentially large. It will initially target ‘those who are afraid to buy on the internet, or are attached to cash,’ according to Brinks CEO Patrick Lagarde.