To pay for a purchase in a store, we generally use credit cards, cash, or more rarely, bank checks. However, there are new means of payment that facilitate transactions at merchants and on the Internet. Electronic money, prepaid virtual card, contactless payment with a smartphone… Overview of the different payment methods and their particularities.
Traditional means of payment
These are the most common means of payment used to make purchases in a physical store or online.
Cash or cash
Euro coins and banknotes are part of cash or cash. They allow you to pay for low-cost purchases. This payment solution is the oldest since it is a real means of exchange against one or more products.
However, you should know that there are specific regulations. You can pay a professional (trader, craftsman, etc.) in cash if the amount does not exceed 1000 euros. Beyond this amount, you will have to select another means of payment. On the other hand, the payment of a salary can also be made in cash if the amount does not exceed 1500 euros. And with regard to real estate transactions, the maximum amount is 10,000 euros. Note that it is forbidden to refuse a payment in cash when the amount does not exceed a ceiling, unless said payment is made with more than 50 coins.
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The credit card
The bank card, also called blue card, is one of the most frequently used means of payment. It can be a withdrawal card that can be used in cash dispensers, or a credit card.
Banks offer different ranges of bank cards, generally chargeable. Each of them takes into account your consumption habits, but also your income.
Note that with this method of payment, you can pay for your purchases in a physical store or on the Internet. In store, all you have to do is enter a confidential code made up of four digits for the transaction to be carried out. When the customer gets the code wrong three times, the card is blocked. And for payments of less than 30 euros, it is possible to use contactless payment by placing the card on the terminal, without entering a secret code.
On the other hand, online, you will have to enter a certain amount of information: the name of the cardholder, the card number, its expiry date as well as its cryptogram composed of three digits.
Finally, note that many bank cards come with benefits such as insurance and assistance (repatriation insurance, medical assistance, death insurance, etc.). Depending on the card network (Visa, Mastercard, etc.), the guarantees diverge.
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This means of paper payment tends to be supplanted by the bank card. Moreover, some merchants refuse it for fear of a bad or bad check. Nevertheless, nearly 10% of the French population continues to use this payment solution.
It is true that the principle of the check is very simple. The amount entered on the title is debited from the issuer’s account when the beneficiary of the check cashes it.
On the other hand, note that there are a number of precautions to take when writing a check:
- the name of the beneficiary must be clearly legible;
- the date and place of issue should be noted;
- the signature is done manually, and must always be the same;
- the document will also be filled in with a ballpoint pen, preferably in black ink;
- the sum will appear in both words and figures. And in the event of a difference between the two, the amount entered in words will be withheld;
- finally, the writing will be clear and easily readable.
To know : in addition to the payment check which is the most common, there are other types of documents. Among them, the uncrossed check. Payable at the counter in cash, it is endorsable. And the certified check guarantees that the account is funded. As for the certified check, the amount is kept in the account for eight days following its issue. Finally, the bank check is issued by the banker. Valid for one year and eight days after its date of issue, it is generally used to settle large transactions.
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The bank transfer
Bank transfer is a particularly useful payment method for sending money from your account to another bank account. To make a transfer, you need a RIB (Bank Identity Statement) or the IBAN of the person receiving the payment.
There are one-off transfers or permanent money transfers. In all cases, the transaction is carried out in a secure manner.
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Among the interbank securities, let us mention the cash, postal or international money order which allows money to be transferred. Unlike a bank transfer, it is possible to give or receive money in cash without the intermediary of a bank account.
In fact, the interbank document is in the form of a coupon that the creditor sends to the account holder. The latter must return it to the sender, signed and accompanied by a bank details.
Finally, direct debit is one of the solutions for paying an expense. Generally, this means of payment is used to pay monthly gas or electricity bills, or a telephone subscription.
Your account is then automatically deducted from the amount due on a specific date. Direct debit is also called direct debit.
virtual means of payment
In the age of new technologies, new ways of paying for purchases are now part of everyday life.
Finally, virtual currency is tending to become a new means of daily payment, even if it remains a minority one. Among the best known electronic currencies is bitcoin. Accepted on most major merchant sites, this virtual currency is exchanged for conventional monetary currencies, sometimes at a very good price.
Note: the course of the virtual currency is not regulated.
This payment facility has gradually become more democratic. Fast, simple and secure, contactless payment is made via a smartphone.
If you have a mobile phone with NFC functionality, you can pay for your purchases using this technology. Note, the merchant must also activate the contactless function of his payment terminal to make the transaction possible. On your side, just approach your device to the terminal, which will detect your phone. Then, the payment will be made automatically via the previously configured application.
The virtual account
This new means of payment is only used to pay for online purchases. In addition, it allows secure payments on the Internet. Indeed, by using a virtual account, you do not have to enter your bank details.
Please note: not all merchant sites accept this payment solution.
The e-credit card or prepaid virtual card
What if you used a time-limited virtual card to make a transaction on the Internet? This payment method is generally offered by all banks, and free of charge.
When making a purchase on the Internet, all you have to do is use the bank’s application or website. You then enter the amount you wish to put on the e-card.
When paying for your purchases, you only enter the virtual code of the prepaid card. In this way, you do not have to communicate your bank details online.
There are also electronic payment methods that allow you to pay for an order on the Internet. Paypal is one of the best known electronic wallets. But, there are other platforms on the market such as Hipay, GoogleWallet or Skrill. In order to facilitate transactions between users, the Paypal account is linked to the credit card.