Distance shopping: means of payment, date of payment and dispute

Verified 31 January 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

You will make purchases on the Internet, by mail order, by teleshopping, by telephone with a professional and you wonder about the payment solutions you have to pay for your order? Depending on the seller, payment may be received immediately upon purchase, upon receipt of the product or upon the provision of the service. We present you with the information you need to know.

E-commerce sites must indicate clearly and legible, at the latest at the beginning of the ordering process, the means of payment accepted (and any restrictions on delivery).

When placing your order, the professional seller must ensure that you explicitly recognize your obligation to pay. To do this, the function used for you to validate your order must clearly and legibly include the words: order with payment obligation or a similar unambiguous formula indicating that the placing of an order requires its payment.


The trader may not charge you any additional fees related to the use of a means of payment.

You may pay for your order for goods or services concluded at a distance of any kind (i.e. by telephone, mail order, teleshopping, internet) in one of the following ways:

  • Credit card
  • Check
  • E-card (Payweb)
  • Bank transfer or direct debit
  • Electronic wallet (PayPal, Paylib...)
  • Prepaid Cards

Credit card

In case of online purchase, you can pay by credit card at the time of performance of the service or at the delivery of your package.

Your payment can also be made immediately by credit card, at the time of your order. You must then indicate the number of your credit card, its end of validity and the last 3 digits on the back of your card (visual cryptogram).

You must verify that this information is transmitted securely. If this is an online purchase, the URL of the page must start with https:// and the symbol of a closed lock must appear in the search bar.


Your 4-digit PIN cannot be requested. You must never give it away. It's only for in-store payments.

Payment by credit card is irrevocable except in case fraudulent use (i.e. if someone else placed an order with your credit card).

In addition, online payments are subject to strong authentication. This is an additional security that requires you to confirm with your bank that you are the origin of a purchase made on the Internet. To do this, you must have a mobile phone in your possession.


You can adjust by check at the time of ordering. In principle, this information is provided to you in the general terms and conditions of sale (GTC) by the professional.

E-credit card (payweb)

It's a paid service, offered by your bank, that allows you to buy a product online without having to disclose your credit card number. You will receive a one-time card number at the time of payment.

Bank transfer or direct debit

You can pay for your purchases by bank transfer (purchase in 1), by bank withdrawal (payment of a subscription for example), or by credit, after to have taken out an assigned credit.

Electronic wallet (PayPal, Paylib...)

Some sites offer the e-wallet as a means of payment for online purchases made on the Internet.

It can be offered under different names (e.g. PayPal, Paylib).

There is no need to enter your banking information every time you pay. Purchases are made by entering a login or email address and a password, sometimes associated with a secret code.

You must create an account with an identifier (e.g. email or phone number) and a password with a third party (bank, telecom operator, etc.).

When you register, you record your personal information and payment data (i.e. the 16-digit number of your credit card, its validity date and the 3-digit cryptogram). The data is stored.

The opening of such an account is free of charge.

Prepaid Cards

Once credited with a sum of money, the prepaid card can be used as a means of payment until the recharged sum is exhausted. These may be, for example, gift cards or payment cards. They may or may not be refillable.

The law allows the professional to collect your payment as soon as the order is placed.

Some professionals offer their customers to make the payment on delivery of the product or when the service is provided.

You can obtain information on the date of payment in the general terms and conditions of sale (GTC). These must be clearly and visibly indicated to you, in particular on the seller's website.

At your bank

You can challenge a payment transaction with your bank within different time limits depending on whether:

  • you have or have not authorized the operation
  • and, if you have not authorized it, whether the bank of the beneficiary (the seller) is located in the European Union (EU) or in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Répondez aux questions successives et les réponses s’afficheront automatiquement

You did not authorize the operation

Seller's bank located in the EU or EEA

You can request (by phone or email) the refund of your purchase at the latest within a period of 13 months from the date your account was debited.

Seller's bank located outside the EU or EEA

You can request a refund of your purchase not later than 70 days (possibly extended by contract up to 120 days) from the date your account was debited.

You have authorized the operation, but it is not being executed properly or not being executed (for example, you have been charged less or more than you expected)

If you see that the payment transaction was not executed correctly or did not complete when you read your statement, you can request a refund of your purchase.

You have, to do this, a 8-week period from the date your bank account was debited.

The bank must reimburse you or justify its refusal within 10 working days upon receipt of your request.

Other remedy

There are other avenues open to you. In particular, you have the possibility to:

Who can help me?

Find who can answer your questions in your region