Optimizing your remote payments in France with a distance selling agreement

Last updated January 29, 2024
  1. 导言
  2. What is a distance selling agreement and what is it used for?
  3. What are the benefits of a distance selling agreement?
  4. How can you obtain a distance selling agreement?
  5. Is a distance selling agreement expensive?

Today, you cannot engage in ecommerce without offering a remote payment solution on your website. How do you get started? Is a showcase website sufficient? How can you integrate a secure payment module? This article will go into the details of a distance selling agreement: how one can be obtained, its benefits for distance sellers, and its expected costs.

What’s in this article?

  • What is a distance selling agreement and what is it used for?
  • What are the benefits of a distance selling agreement?
  • How can you obtain a distance selling agreement?
  • Is a distance selling agreement expensive?

What is a distance selling agreement and what is it used for?

A distance selling agreement is an agreement between a business and a bank or a payment service provider (PSP) accredited by the French Prudential Supervisory and Resolution Authority (ACPR). Under the agreement, the business can sell products online and receive payment for the purchases made by its customers. It allows the integration of a virtual electronic payment terminal (EPT) on the vendor’s website. This feature is used to process online transactions and verify the customer’s payment method.

What are the benefits of a distance selling agreement?

A distance selling agreement offers several benefits to the customer and vendor alike. First, it is a secure payment system—the customer’s personal information remains confidential and is not directly available to the vendor. That helps make the vendor’s business more credible, and it reassures the customer about the security of the transaction.

A distance selling agreement also makes online payments simpler for the vendor: to make the payment, the customer is directed to the secure page of a conventional bank or a PSP, which processes the payment for the business and collects the funds relating to the transaction. The agreement also protects both parties from fraud and guarantees payment for the transaction.

In addition, depending on the distance selling agreement, the bank or independent PSP is authorized to offer several online payment methods such as bank cards, payments in installments, and SEPA debits. The diversity of payment methods offered improves customers’ payment experience.

How can you obtain a distance selling agreement?

To obtain a distance selling agreement, you must submit a complete application to prove to your bank or PSP that your business is profitable. You will need to include information about the products or services you sell, and specify your business model and the payment methods you intend to offer.

Note that some payment solutions such as PayPal do not use distance selling agreements.

Is a distance selling agreement expensive?

The charges for a distance selling agreement vary depending on the bank and the payment service provider involved. Note that if you use the services of a bank to secure your distance sales, it will cost you more.

Generally speaking, such an agreement through a bank will cost you €100 to €300, plus a monthly subscription fee of €10 to €30. You might also have to pay commission on each sale (0.3% to 1.5% of the total value of each transaction) and fixed charges (€0.10 to €0.80 per transaction). That means that a distance selling agreement is an investment with the bank.

Alternatively, you can use a payment service provider accredited by the ACPR (such as Stripe) to obtain a distance selling agreement. Stripe offers an efficient payment platform and can manage your remote payments for affordable prices with no setup costs or contribution. The charges due depend on the card used: for standard cards in the European Economic Area, you will pay commission at 1.5% of the value plus €0.25 for each transaction; for transactions with UK cards, you will pay commission at 2.5% plus €0.25 per transaction.

Additionally, Stripe is on the list of online payment solutions provided by the French government. For more information about how Stripe can help you manage your remote payments, please contact one of our experts.

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