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Younited study on instalment payments: convenience, the number one selling point, ahead of free services in France and Spain

Customer survey
06/06/23
Press release

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In the span of a few years, the use of instalment payments has become essential for European merchants and consumers. According to Kaleido Intelligence, the global instalment payment market could triple by 2025, reaching $250 billion. In a context of spending trade-offs, inflation, and rising energy costs, what are the new expectations of consumers? Younited provides an overview of the evolution of the French and Spanish markets and the usage of instalment payments compared to 2021.

Key figures to remember

  • In France, the duration of consumer loans tends to increase overall. Among consumers who made at least one purchase over €200, 61% used 2 to 4 instalment payments in 2023, a marked decrease of 16 points compared to 2021. Long-term credits with 5 or more monthly repayments are more commonly used than before.
  • Nearly half of French (45%) and Spanish (49%) consumers surveyed used instalment payment options for purchases exceeding €1,000.
  • Among purchases with instalment payments, in-store transactions represent 52% of operations in France, while online purchases with home delivery account for only 37% in 2023.
  • 8 out of 10 consumers state that the option to pay in instalments would encourage them to return to the store or website where they made their purchase.

French consumers prefer instant credit payments for higher average baskets

Since 2021, the French instalment payment market has evolved. Notably, short-term instalment payments have declined, especially for consumers making purchases over €200, with a decrease of 16 points in the usage of 2 to 4 instalments in 2023. There is a gradual shift towards higher amounts and a greater number of instalments. Specifically, average baskets between €1,000 and €3,000 increased by 6 points. A similar trend is observed for repayment durations between 5 and 12 instalments, which increased by 9 points.

This trend is also visible in the more mature Spanish market, where 29% of purchases were settled in 13 instalments or more (+14 points). Only a third of Spanish consumers surveyed paid in 2 to 4 instalments (-10 points), compared to two-thirds in France. Notably, nearly half of French (45%) and Spanish (49%) consumers used instalment payments for purchases exceeding €1,000.

“Building on the conclusions of 2021, we observe that the desire of French consumers to access a broader range of solutions has materialized. At Younited, through our regulated instant credit payment offering, we have chosen to position ourselves as specialists in financing moderate to high average purchase amounts: starting from €300 and 10 months. Unlike most other instalment payment offerings in the European market, Younited Pay is the only solution already 100% in line with future regulations.”
David Payet, Marketing Products and Studies Director at Younited

Instalments conquering the luxury realm and gaining popularity in-store

A distinguishing element from 2021 is the increasing popularity of instalment payments in the luxury market. In France, 3% of consumers have already used instalment payments for luxury purchases in the last 6 months. This figure could rise to 6% in the next 6 months, reaching 12% in the longer term and up to 19% in Spain.

Another significant change is the resurgence of in-store purchases over online commerce. In France, in-store purchases increased by 17 points, representing 52% of transactions. In contrast, online purchases with home delivery declined from 51% to 37% in 2023 (-14 points).

A payment facility that's quick and easy to use

The study shows that instalment payments are a key tool for customer loyalty and retention: 78% of French consumers and 86% of Spanish consumers state that it would encourage them to return to the store or website where they made their first purchase.

Significantly, this year, convenience has become the number one selling point ahead of free services. This factor is favored by 45% of French consumers and 33% of Spaniards. The absence of fees is then cited by 39% and 29% respectively, representing a decrease of 9 points in France and 18 points in Spain.

A solution to preserve purchasing power during price increases

In the context of inflation affecting household purchasing power, the study reveals that for 30% of French respondents, "paying in cash would make their end of the month difficult." It is observed that due to inflation, 4 out of 10 consumers will have to resort to instalment payments to settle their purchases, whereas they would have paid in cash before.