France - French Ministry of Economy launches digital transformation working group

On 5 August 2020, the French Ministry of Economy announced the launch of a digital transformation working group (in French “La mission numérique des grands groupes”). France aims to be one of the leaders in the digital transformation of businesses. 

In order to reach that objective, the mission gathered major French and European companies such as; Natixis, Capgemini, L'Oréal, Pernod Ricard, Worldline, and C Discount. See the official statement (in French), including the list of participants, here

Working groups will work on digital topics, two of which are of special interest to payments (highlighted in bold below): 

1. Support the transformation of skills and trainings, 
2. Support the emergence of a European ecosystem dealing with data sovereignty at European level,
3. Simplify and strengthen the collaboration between start-ups and large corporations,
4. Participate in the protection of the French sovereignty in the e-payment market,
5. Develop a global strategy on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The objectives of each working group will be to identify the issues and challenges for the development of its specific digital topic, so that development priorities and investments can be considered. Once the findings have been reviewed, the French Government will be able to implement concrete measures and collective projects that will be set up following on from this work.

The Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire announced the composition of the steering committee as follows: 

  • Nicolas Guérin from Natixis and Juliette de Maupéou from Capgemini Invent will be the leaders of the global working group,
  • Each work team will be led by a project leader,
  • In the work streams directly related to payment, Marie Even from C Discount and Alexandre Albarel from Worldline will be at the head of the e-payment team and Meriem Riadi from Suez and David Lépicier from Pernod Ricard will be the head of the data team.

The steering committee will meet for the first time this Autumn,a presentation on the progress of the various working groups will take place in March 2021 before a report is published by the end 2021.

Note that item 2 above, 'dealing with data sovereignty at European level', is obviously related to the report submitted to the French Minister of the Economy and Finance in February 2020 which suggested that a data localization requirement be imposed in relation to payments data, for example by means of amendments to the EEA Interchange Fee Regulation (IFR) and/or the GDPR updates. See our previous alert on that report here.

Should you have any questions about the above, please do not hesitate to contact one of the members of the Bird & Bird global payments team. 

If you would like to receive our regular Payments alerts in your inbox, click here.

If you would like to read Bird & Bird’s previous alerts, please check out our Payments In Focus webpage here.

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