Did you know? When making a payment, you can often choose between CB and Visa or MasterCard.

Few people are interested in it, but payment by bank card (there were 18.3 billion French card transactions in France in 2022) follows a complex but well-oiled mechanism. When your bank, the issuer, issues you a bank card in your name, most of the time you have a joint credential. With the CB logo – the French interbank network – to which Visa or MasterCard, international payment networks, are associated.

But some bank cards are called “unique”, that is, they only support the international payment scheme to which they are associated. In this case, the transaction will be carried out automatically through the network mentioned above.

CB lacks notoriety

The situation is different when the bank card has a double badge. “European regulations offer consumers the possibility of choosing the brand with which they make their payments,” explains Brice van de Walle, general director of MasterCard France. This is important, because we differentiate ourselves with advantages, services, etc. But certain sites in France leave no choice to the consumer. »

If you have the possibility, simply click on the desired icon, CB, Visa or MasterCard, before entering the codes for your bank card. “You can choose the brand, but the problem is that no one knows,” says Guillaume Yribarren, deputy director of Consulting at Galitt and payments expert.

The problem for CB is that right now consumers intuitively click on the logos of the much better-known international networks. “The weight of marketing has allowed Visa and MasterCard to shape an image, while CB has not been visible enough,” says Guillaume Larmaraud, banking partner at Colombus Consulting. And Guillaume Yribarren states: “It’s a bit of David against Goliath. »

A choice also possible in payment terminals

An even lesser known fact is that it is also possible to choose your network when purchasing in-store. Certainly, merchants primarily configure TPEs by default to transmit payments over the CB network, where they incur fewer costs on average. But if, after inserting your card, you press the orange button on the terminal, you will be able to choose your network.

But what does that change? Therefore, for the merchant the costs are on average lower through CB. On the customer side, international networks offer broader services and benefits. But there is no difference in terms of coverage, says Philippe Laulanie, CEO of CB: “With a shared card, you benefit from the same insurance regardless of the network through which you pay. Because you sign your card contract with your bank. »

Leave a Comment