Scope and terms of the Banque de France's remit

The task of overseeing cashless payment instruments was assigned to the Banque de France by the Everyday Security Act of 15 November 2001, which requires it to ensure "that the means of payment other than fiduciary currency are secure and that the regulations applicable thereto are pertinent" (Article L. 141-4 of the Monetary and Financial Code).

Scope of the Banque de France's oversight

The scope of the Banque de France's oversight is set out in the following provisions:

  • Article L. 311-3 of the Monetary and Financial Code states that "any instrument which enables any person to transfer funds is considered to be a means of payment, regardless of the medium or the technical process used".
  • Articles L. 521-3-2 and L. 525-4 of the Monetary and Financial Code extend the scope of this oversight to specific payment instruments and special electronic payment vouchers, which are listed in the ministerial decrees of 4 June 2018 and 17 June 2013 respectively. 
  • Article L. 521-8 of the Monetary and Financial Code specifies that the Banque de France's oversight also covers "the security of access to payment accounts and the information contained therein".

Terms of the Banque de France’s oversight remit

The terms for carrying out this remit are set out in Article L.141-4. of the Monetary and Financial Code:

  • “If the Banque de France considers that any means of payment offer insufficient guarantees of security, it may recommend that the issuer take all appropriate measures to remedy the situation. If such recommendations are not followed, it may, having obtained the issuer’s observations, decide to draft a negative opinion for publication in the Official Journal.” 
  • “In performing these missions, the Bank of France carries out the necessary inspections and obtains from the issuer or another party involved the relevant information concerning the means of payment and the terminals or other technical devices associated therewith.”

As a result of this remit on the security of payment instruments, and in particular the implementation of SEPA payment instruments in France, the Banque de France has become a key public player in the regulation and strategic orientation of cashless payment instruments.

National Payments Committee

The Banque de France chairs the Comité National des Moyens de Paiement (CNMP – National Payments Committee) and, in conjunction with the French Treasury, provides its secretariat. As the successor to the Comité National des Moyens de Paiement Scripturaux (CNPS – National Cashless Payments Committee) and the Comité de Pilotage de la Filière Fiduciaire (CP2F – Steering Committee for the Cash Industry), the CNMP analyses, encourages and oversees major developments in the French payments ecosystem.

The main task of the CNMP is to coordinate the implementation of the national retail payments strategy, in order to promote the development of fast, secure and inclusive payments. The CNMP also coordinates with the European retail payment strategies drawn up by the Eurosystem, the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) and the European Commission.

The members of the CNMP are split evenly between representatives of supply and representatives of demand. The Committee also includes representatives of public institutions involved in payment instruments.

Observatory for the Security of Payment Means

The Observatoire de la Sécurité des Moyens de Paiement (OSMP – Observatory for the Security of Payment Means), established by Law No. 2016-1691 of 9 December 2016 on transparency, the fight against corruption and the modernisation of the economy (known as the Sapin 2 Law), is a body designed to promote the exchange of information and consultation on the smooth functioning of payment instruments and the fight against fraud (Article L. 141-4 of the Monetary and Financial Code). Its composition is determined by regulation and includes representatives of all stakeholders (consumers, merchants and businesses, public authorities and administrations, banks and payment system operators). The Banque de France chairs the OSMP and provides its secretariat.

According to the French Monetary and Financial Code (Article L. 141-4), the OSMP’s missions are threefold:

  • to strengthen the security of means of payment
  • to compile statistics on fraud
  • to provide a technological watch regarding cashless payment instruments, with the aim of proposing ways of combating breaches of payment instrument security

The payment instruments covered by the OSMP are credit transfers, direct debits, payment cards, cheques, commercial paper, electronic money and the transmission of funds.

Activity reports and press releases

Security frameworks  

Public principles established by the Eurosystem: the PISA oversight framework

Since 2021, the PISA oversight framework has unified and replaced the Eurosystem's previous oversight frameworks for payment instruments. It has also made it possible to include a number of new players in the scope of oversight, such as mobile payment solutions and digital wallets. The PISA framework contains an assessment methodology, which is designed to ensure consistent and harmonised application of the oversight framework for the various supervised entities in the different communities.

The Eurosystem's oversight focuses on schemes and arrangements that have reached a considerable level of importance for the euro area, and is based on objective criteria that are laid out in the exemption policy. Under its framework, the Banque de France oversees the Groupement Cartes Bancaires (GCB – Bank Card Grouping) and participates in the oversight, under the direction of the European Central Bank, of the European Payment Council (EPC) which is in charge of SEPA payment instruments, and of MasterCard Europe, PayPal Europe and Visa Europe.

Public principles established by the Banque de France

In addition, the Banque de France has also drawn up principles for the oversight of certain payment instruments governed by French national law, in particular security principles for cheques (2005, latest revision in 2022), universal employment vouchers (2007, latest revision in 2014) and special payment vouchers (2015).