FranceInfo has created its basket of food products to measure the inflation rate on 37 everyday foodstuffs. Their March 2023 publication reveals a 16.6% year-on-year increase in their basket in February 2023. Among the products, we find sugar, flour and toilet paper rolls. These everyday products have increased by an average of 25% over one year. Thus, it becomes difficult for a certain number of French people to pay for their shopping basket. Would payment in installments be the solution to this problem?

In a study published in 2020, INSEE noted that 16.1% of the budget of all households was devoted to food expenditure. For the poorest households, the figure was 18.3% excluding alcoholic beverages. For wealthy households, this percentage is a little lower with 14.2% of the budget devoted to non-alcoholic food.

These figures reveal the large share of the budget devoted to food shopping by households. The largest part of the budget of all households is devoted to transport and then to housing. Food comes in third place in the expenditure of the French. With inflation, it is then increasingly difficult to make ends meet.

However, other studies also reveal that more and more French people are using installment payment for other types of expenses. Indeed, in 2022, a study by Kantar for Floa Bank reveals that 37% of French people have already used split payment. This study also indicates that the split payment market is booming as it increases by 20-40% every year.

A third of us have therefore already used it for various reasons such as reducing the budget or for the purpose of having fun. But, is it possible to use it to pay for our groceries?

On the set of the TF1 newspaper on Tuesday March 14, Gilles Bouleau welcomed Garance Pardigon to answer the question of the day from the French. That evening, the question revolved around split payment and its use in large retail chains.

Caroline Laverdet, a lawyer specializing in consumer law, replied that “it depends on the brand’s commercial policy”. It is therefore possible for supermarkets to put this system in place. Nevertheless, Gérard de Haas, a lawyer specializing in these issues, adds that “it is sometimes difficult to set up for food shopping, because it involves going through an approved credit organization”.

You should therefore dwell on the general conditions of sale which allow you to know if the brand accepts this type of operation. But, is split payment safe?

If split payment is increasingly used for small amounts, this does not mean that there is no danger. Indeed, an article published in 2021 by UFC-Que Choisir reveals the risks of this consumption trend. Indeed, the article explains that this practice is still not regulated by the law on consumer credit. This lack of supervision can lead to abuses. An overdrawn person can, for example, use this means of payment.

However, the ease of access to this type of payment can lead to abuse. In addition, the association mentions that some brands apply “late penalties reaching 30 or 40% of the outstanding capital”. This percentage is much higher than a consumer credit whose penalty is capped at 8%.

Nevertheless, at the end of 2022, the European Union looked into the matter and wanted to integrate this payment into consumer credit regulations. For the time being, member states are free to do so or not.