In the financial digital innovation sector, France also has a rich ecosystem. However, as with many of our start-ups, how many will survive and especially how many will survive and remain under the French flag.
Indeed, as in any crisis, the time for “good deals” will come, and it will not necessarily be surprising to see large buying operations. The companies that have the most cash, like the Gafams, will be able to do their little shopping if we don’t take care… The hunting season may be open…
The means of payment a question of sovereignty?
This is a question to be asked. Indeed, a too strong dependence on American or extra-European technological solutions, there too can turn against us for several reasons. One of the very first is the knowledge obtained from customers, in fact the first are the providers of bank cards, the banks only coming in second. Knowing and mastering the knowledge of consumer behavior can prove to be invaluable assets. The other reason, again, is the risk of being indirectly dependent on US law or as another threat to Chinese law. If the actors are American, the solutions are American, then we find again on our way the question of the Patriot Act and the Cloud Act….
It should be noted that the main credit card organizations are American Mastercard®, Visa®, American Express® which is a shame when we think that the French are the inventors of the smart card….
As we can see, on classic payment solutions, there is a North American hegemony, but alas the current situation on dematerialized means of payment until very recently presented the same landscape: Paypal®, Apple pay®,Google pay®, Samsung pay® for the Koreans, and WeChatpay® and Alipay® for China (Asialyst). It should be noted that the use of personal data on the Chinese side is even more worrying than on the American side …
Towards a French awakening?
The “digital transformation” carried by the concept of “Start-up nation” has seen the birth of an ecosystem favorable to the emergence of numbers of Start-ups in “techs” thanks to non-standard incubators like the F station, the emergence of a number of labels such as ‘French Tech’, have allowed a flowering of French fintechs (Fintechs infographic of Journal du Net), as : Lydia and monisnap in the field of paperless payment. So there are many initiatives that are being put in place, these are projects to follow because they will eventually be able to offer us real alternatives to the current payment methods where the American hegemony is mainly contested by Asia, Korea all first thanks to its leadership in mobile telephony, but China is coming in force…
It should be noted that French banks are not to be outdone, and are implementing online payment methods to keep pace with the changing uses of their customers. We have for example the solution PayLib of the BNP, Banque Postale and Société Générale banking group, joined by Crédit Agricole. I will not do an exhaustive listing of existing solutions, but there are also BluePayd® , PayPlug® (Natexis’ FinTech).
We can see, there are many initiatives, it was expected consolidation movements in the sector, however the Covid-19 pandemic can accelerate the phenomenon and unfortunately could undermine the emergence of sovereign solutions.
In this sector as in many others, we can see great initiatives and a great entrepreneurial vitality in our country. However, we must be careful, because the “Start-up” sector has benefited here as elsewhere from investments facilitated by monetary abundance. The current crisis will reshuffle the cards and to hope to cross this difficult period, it will clearly be necessary that the added value brought by the service is undeniable.
At the same time, it will be important for the government to propose a legislative framework that promotes solutions that respect the use of our private data. But that alone will not be enough! In this sector as in the others, it is necessary that at the individual level we become conso-actors, without our individual action, this will be lost.