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31 december 2010

French banks are implementing the new payments framework

The transposition of the payment-services directive has ushered in a new legal framework for payments in France.


A vital step in the construction of a genuine single payment services market in Europe, the new framework governs relations between payment-service providers and customers, and opens up the market to new players: payment institutions. It also offers progress for customers in a number of areas:

  • shorter settlement times for fund transfers in euros,
  • more detailed information in contractual documents,
  • possibility of contesting an unauthorised or incorrectly executed payment transaction during a 13-month period.

Given the significant impacts of the transposition into French law, the banking profession was quick to take an active role, making proposals to the government, with the aim of preserving the security and stability of the French payment system.

Despite the fact that the transposition order and the application decrees were not published until July 2009, French banks were ready when the new system came into force on 1 November 2009: they had carried out the necessary modifications to IT systems, trained account managers and informed their customers about the changes to come. They had also begun gradually changing the relevant contracts, and planned to make updated account agreements available to customers before May 2010, in accordance with the provisions of the texts in question.

However, as some member states are running late on the transposition of the European directive, it will be necessary to adapt procedures relating to the implementation of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

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