The payment industry is undergoing profound changes due to technological breakthroughs with contactless payments (cards and mobile), internet payments… This paper compares and exploits original datasets on the payment behavior of two representative samples of the French population in 2005 and 2011. The analyses clearly show that the use of the payment card has increased between 2005 and 2011 at the expense of cash and checks on small and large amounts, respectively. This can be explained by a change of the legal framework on credit consumption and co-branding, an evolution of the card acceptance, electronic commerce and a generation effect. If rates of progress between 2005 and 2011 continue, we expect the payment card will dominate purchases of very small amounts, i.e. lower than 5 €, at the horizon of the 2030s.