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May 11, 2021

BNP Paribas targets France’s gig economy

By Mohamed Dabo

France’s biggest lender is finally waking up to the long-neglected potential of the country’s growing army of self-employed.

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BNP Paribas, through its online bank Hello Bank!, has launched a new offer aimed at auto-entrepreneurs. For the first time, the Paris-based bank  is turning to this new clientele in order to reach one million registrants and continue its quest for profitability.

In France, an auto-entrepreneur—now officially called micro-entrepreneur—is a sole trader or one-person business, registered under the entrepreneur’s name.

France’s self-employed make up to 11.6% of total employment in 2020, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators.

The offer, called Hello Business, is now only available on an app. It is a “mobile first” approach that will be completed by the start of summer with the setting up of a website.

The digital bank set a target back in mid-2019: to become profitable in France by 2022.  To reach this goal, Hello Bank! has set its sight on auto-entrepreneurs in particular.

Until then, “We had not been addressing these customers. This is a new direction for us,” said Caroline Lehericey, director of Hello Bank! France.

“It seemed natural to address this new market in addition to our current offer”, she said.

France – Self-employed: Total (% Of Total Employed)

The acceleration of online operations

The move came amid growing competition between financial institutions, as well as fintechs, to attract this new clientele.

Banking networks are also scrambling to find the right recipe to finally make their online brands profitable.

If the year 2020 was special and created a lot of uncertainties, all digital uses have been reinforced. Hello Bank! notes “an acceleration in all online transactions, internet payments and contactless payments,” said Lehericey.

“Hello Bank! is perfectly positioned on these uses that are also found in the world of work”.

France is quietly undergoing a self-employment boom

Hello Bank! has decided to address specifically the self-employed because the growth momentum is very strong in this category. Among business start-ups in 2020, about 75% by self-employed people, according to figures from INSEE cited by online banking.

“This market is growing. It has been three years since the growth rate has been around 30% per year,” said Lehericey.

She said Hello Business plans to provide the most complete service possible at the price of 10.90 euros HT per month. The online banking is aimed at both craftsmen, traders, liberal professions, freelancers, and people combining several activities.

Free Report
img

What does the future hold for BNPL market?

The global Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) market is estimated at a massive $120 million in 2021 – representing just less than 3% of the global ecommerce market. Yet the user-base is massive, with leading provider, Klarna, alone reportedly having 87 million users in 2021. This market is only expected to grow, with established companies like Apple and Goldman Sachs moving into the BNPL sector in bids to capitalize on this trend. To help you make the most of this growing market, GlobalData’s Buy Now Pay Later in 2022 and Beyond report provides detailed insight into the BNPL sector. This report:
  • Discusses the disruptive potential of the BNPL sector on the payments industry
  • Identifies the leading companies that are driving sector growth and the benefits this new payments solution provides to both merchants and consumers
  • Analyzes the consumer’s risk of using BNPL loans and government attempts at introducing regulations to the sector
  • Uncovers the main risks that consumers expose themselves to when borrowing with BNPL
Download this free report to get to know where this developing market is headed, and how you can reshape your strategies.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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