Understanding Split Payments and Consumer Credit: Important Information and Rules for 2026

2023-12-20 06:25:00

Since the explosion of inflation in 2022, split payment is booming. A name that may seem barbaric, but which has a very concrete reality in your favorite supermarket. Are you a fan when you opt for payment in three, four or six installments with your bank card? Well that’s what it’s all about. In fact, you take out a loan from a financing organization.

Faced with numerous abuses, new rules will appear in 2026 to best protect consumers and thus prevent them from falling into the trap of over-indebtedness. In fact, it is entirely possible to make a split payment while your account is overdrawn, unlike a more traditional loan.

On its official website, the Banque de France warns. “The accumulation of mini-credits and the multiplication of split payments could destabilize your budget and cause significant financial difficulties,” she indicates. The financial institution calls for extreme caution when subscribing. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing to pay in three, four, six or twelve installments.

Do I have the right to repay the amount more quickly?

He is rare for financial institutions allowing split payment to authorize early repayments. This is one of the major differences with traditional consumer credit. And this, for a fairly simple reason, until very recently, there was little or no legal framework around this payment method. As UFC-Que Choisir regrets. “This form of loan goes under the radar of the law on consumer credit which targets credits of an amount greater than €200 or a duration of more than 3 months,” indicates the association.

Last October, the European Commission set up a directive aims to make split payment a consumer credit in its own right. If the rules are rather well followed in France, this is not necessarily the case everywhere in Europe. These new instructions, including information, must come into force in 2026.

How to withdraw?

As with any online purchase, you have at least 14 days to cancel your purchase. This is a legal deadline and it is mandatory and applies both if you buy a product on a French or European merchant site. The Public Service draws up a precise list of goods which are not affected by this withdrawal period.

To use this right, simply send a written message to the seller “before the withdrawal period expires”.. In some cases, a standard form is attached to the signed contract. You can also use a template available on the internet. If it is not necessary to justify your decision, “the simple return of the goods without declaration or the refusal to take delivery is not sufficient to express your desire to withdraw”, recalls the Public Service.

On the other hand, and this is a limitation of split payment, in the case of a physical purchase, the seller is the one who sets the rules. He can very well decide, in advance, to refuse any return. You must therefore read the conditions carefully at the time of purchase.

Do we risk penalties in the event of late repayment?

Split payment is, as we have seen, a consumer credit (almost) like any other. Therefore, if you do not repay the installments within the allotted time, the financial institution which granted you this split payment may claim heavy penalties. “It is the general conditions of sale which set them: up to 40% of the remaining capital sometimes”, explains Audrey Blamèble, associate director of Come2Mind Consulting to our colleagues at TF1.

“If you have one or more unpaid bills, the lender could ask you for immediate repayment of the balance of your creditsometimes adding late payment penalties, the amount of which can be significant,” warns the Banque de France.

What reflexes should you have?

To avoid any unpleasant surprises, the Banque de France invites you to have a few reflexes when making a purchase. Firstly, it is preferable to check your ability to repay such a loan, “especially if you already have other outstanding loans”. Especially since in the event of unpaid debts, you could end up being listed by the Banque de France. An inscription with serious consequences in daily life and which blocks the construction of numerous life projects.

At the same time, it is advisable to carefully read “the characteristics and pricing conditions of the credit.” As seen a little earlier, the lending organization may require full payment of the credit in the event of non-payment with a sometimes significant increase. Finally, “in order to avoid the risk of scam”, it is strongly recommended to check that “the lender is authorized to offer credits in France”. A vigilance that particularly applies to online purchases.

Can I be refused a split payment?

Absolutely, as we have seen, it is a credit. “The financial institution may refuse to grant you a split payment if it considers, on the basis of criteria it defines, that you are not able to repay it“, confirms the Bank of France.

Other situations may lead to a refusal of split payment. Thus, if your bank card expires before the end of the requested credit, the lending organization will veto your request. Finally, certain bank cards are excluded from the split payment system, such as cards with systematic authorization. To find out what it is, contact your bank, the store where you wish to make your purchases or its financial partner.

The editorial team recommends

News from the RTL editorial team in your inbox.

Using your RTL account, subscribe to the RTL info newsletter to follow all the latest news on a daily basis

Read more

#questions #booming #payment #method #runup #Christmas

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.