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The Observatory for the Security of Payment Means is a national body intended to promote information-sharing and consultation between all parties concerned by the security of cashless payment systems (consumers, merchants, businesses, financial sector players and public authorities).


Main Missions

Pursuant to the articles L. 141-4 and R. 141-1 of the French Monetary and Financial Code, the Observatory has a threefold responsibility:

  • It monitors the implementation of measures adopted by issuers, merchants and companies to strengthen payment means security. It keeps abreast of the principles adopted with regard to security as well as the main developments in this area.
  • It compiles statistics on fraud on the basis of the relevant information disclosed by payment means issuers to the Observatory's secretariat. The Observatory issues recommendations aimed at harmonising procedures for establishing fraud statistics for the various types of payment means.
  • It maintains a technology watch in the payment means field, with the aim of proposing ways of combating technological attacks on the security of payment cards. To this end, it collects all the available information that is liable to reinforce payment means security and puts it at the disposal of its members. It organises the exchange of information between its members while respecting confidentiality where necessary.


The payment means covered by the Observatory are the following:

  • Credit transfers are provided by the payment service provider that holds the payer's payment account and consist in crediting, on the basis of an instruction from the payer, the payment account of a beneficiary by a payment operation or a series of payment operations carried out from the payer's payment account.
  • Direct debits consist in debiting a payer's payment account when a payment operation is initiated by the beneficiary on the basis of the consent given by the payer to the beneficiary, to the payment service provider of the beneficiary or to the payer's own payment service provider.
  • Payment cards are a category of payment instrument that enable the holder to make withdrawals or transfer funds.
  • Electronic money is a monetary value that is stored in an electronic form, including a magnetic form, representing a claim on the issuer, that is issued (by credit institutions or electronic money institutions) against the remittance of funds for the purpose of payment operations and which is accepted by a natural or legal person other than the issuer of electronic money.
  • Cheques consist in a written instruction in which a person, called a drawer, instructs a credit institution, called a drawee, to pay on demand a certain amount to himself or to a third party, called the beneficiary.
  • Trade bills are marketable securities that record a monetary claim payable to the bearer and are used to pay it. Among these securities, a distinction is made between the bill of exchange and the promissory note. "

Created by Law 2016-1691 of 9 December 2016, the Observatory for the Security of Payment Means (OSMP) is a body whose purpose is to facilitate the exchange of information and the consultation between all the parties concerned (consumers, retailers and companies, public authorities and administrations, banks and managers of payment means) by the smooth functioning of payment means and the fight against fraud. As such, the OSMP takes over all the missions previously devolved to the Observatory for Payment Card Security created in 2001, to which it succeeds, over a perimeter extended to all cashless payment means.

Updated on: 06/12/2018 10:50