When it comes to digital governments with progressive legislation, we typically look at the Nordics as shining stars, leading the way for the rest of Europe. For example, the Finnish government has been the most vocal around their digital receipt strategy and how by 2025 digital receipts are set to become the shared, compulsory government solution, meaning that anyone dealing with the government must use digital receipts as proof of purchase. Most might be surprised that the most radical changes won't be happening here in the Nordics, but actually in France starting in 2023.

10,600 paper rolls consumed each year per hypermarket for the printing of receipts

Part of a wider governmental push, known as The Anti-waste Law for a Circular Economy, France will start banning systematic printing of cash register and payment terminal receipts, unless expressly requested by the customer. As of today in all countries, cash registers and payment terminal receipts will print regardless of whether the customer has requested it or not. In some markets we do see that if a loyalty customer has explicitly stated that they do not want a paper receipt then this systematic printing will be overridden, but still might print if a customer pays with Apple Pay or Google Pay for example.

It’s estimated that a French hypermarket consumes 10,600 rolls of thermal paper for the sole purpose of printing receipts. With France having over 30,000 supermarkets & grocery stores, the volume of the paper waste is gigantic. As we very well know these slips of paper often have a lifespan of less than a few seconds since they are often thrown away upon leaving the store. So this new bill that will come into effect on January 1st, 2023, will have a significant impact on reducing waste within the retail sector.

Away from the environmental savings, French retailers will see positive impacts regarding their operational costs. Not having to refill the paper printers as often as previously might sound like a small cost saving, however for one of these large hypermarkets, these costs do add up. Whether it’s the manual labor of replacing them, the rolls of paper or the ink and maintenance of the machines. Maybe the biggest losers from this will be the printer companies!

Do customers still need a receipt?

Just because the law comes into force, doesn’t mean the receipt loses any value, quite the opposite. Customers will now look to receive a digital alternative that provides lots more value and stored in applications or channels that make their daily lives easier. Whether that’s for business purposes, expense purchases from company cards, or a consumer buying a high value item where they need to keep the receipt for warranty purposes. ReceiptHero expects to see the French market explode with consumer demand for digital receipts and for ECRs to work closely with existing receipt platforms to help with merchant demand.

The opportunity for a French consumer to not just get a digital receipt but also the enriched elements from that transaction. What if the customer could rate the in-store experience in real-time, receive relevant coupons or rewards for items they could purchase on the next visit or even track how many carbon emissions a specific item on the receipt used. All these futuristic opportunities are available today via a partnership with ReceiptHero.

ReceiptHero has built an open platform and has been delivering digital receipts to customers in Finland for the last 4 years. Now expanding across the UK, DACH and other European markets we’ve shown how to deploy the solution efficiently and how to work with local partners. Retailers using ReceiptHero range from independent merchants, right up to large publicly listed retail chains. Recent partnerships with Ingenico, Visa and Mastercard will allow French merchants to leverage real-time digital receipts so that their customers can automatically get a receipt linked to their payment card.

If you are a French merchant looking to get up and running with digital receipts for next year, reach out and let's see how ReceiptHero can support you.

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Discuss the opportunities offered by ReceiptHero with Chris.

Chris Moore

Director of International Business
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