The ‘Compte-Nickel’ account: an account without a bank

Hugues LE BRET

President, Financière des Paiements Electroniques

Seminar Digital transformations | Monday May 23, 2016 - 17h30 - 19h30

The Compte-Nickel payment account is a simple idea. It is accessible to everyone and an account can be opened at a newsagent’s in just ten minutes. It comes with a bank card with which one can withdraw money, make transfers‚ and purchase items in France and abroad. Overdrafts are impossible: this drawback is an advantage for the two million people who have bank suspensions, or for the 40 % of French people who have exceeded their credit facility. The success of this enterprise depended on three major creations: the creation of a computer system which manages the accounts in real time (which no bank was able to do); approval from the financial authorities (the application brochure had 4,800 pages); and the existence of an efficient sales distribution network (which was possible thanks to an exclusive partnership with newsagents). The Compte-Nickel programme got off to a very good and rapid start with 230,000 account holders at the beginning of 2016, and 500,000 forecast by the end of 2016. This talk highlights a digital innovation which was a response to a social need.

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This session was published in issue n°122 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Réalités illusoires et rêves réalistes.