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International money transfers in France

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

Find out all you need to know about sending and receiving money in France, regardless of whether you're sending or receiving funds inside Europe or outside.

Moving to France places one at the centre of both the cultural and economic life of Europe. People from all over the globe, both workers and businesspeople, are drawn to the nation because of its robust economy. This indicates that significant quantities of money move in and out of the nation daily.

As a result, those looking to send money to other countries from France have a wide variety of choices to choose from. There are alternative services in France that are regarded as secure and dependable for the transfer of money, in addition to the four major banks that dominate the nation.


Are you looking for a straightforward method to transfer money in France? There is no better option than the user-friendly platform for international money transfers than Wise. You may also make use of their multi-currency account, which enables you to send and receive payments in a safe environment and free of any additional costs. Get some sense and make the most of your money while you're in France.

Transfers of money across international borders in France

Because France is located in Europe, the country's financial services are regulated not just by French authorities but also by those of the European Union (EU). The French Central Bank, also known as the Banque de France, is a component of the Eurosystem. This is a federal system that was developed by the European Central Bank (ECB) and many national banks. The French Central Bank is in charge of all banking activity that takes place in France. The European Banking Authority is in charge of monitoring these institutions in turn (EBA). The Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution - ACPR), which is a distinct branch of the central bank, is the primary banking regulator in France.

Banque de France, Paris

France's status as a leading economy in Europe makes it a magnet for skilled workers from all over the world. In addition, a lot of people decide to retire in France. Every day, foreign residents in France send and receive money transfers for a variety of reasons, including jobs and retirement. According to estimates provided by the World Bank, the total amount of remittance inflows (personal transfers of money into France) in 2020 was $24.5 billion US. That amounts to slightly under 1% of the total GDP of France. Outflows were $15 billion US dollars, which is equal to 0.6% of GDP.

Online international money transfer services in France

Providers of online money transfers in France, such as PayPal and OFX, may provide several benefits to customers. If you and the person to whom you want to send money both have accounts with the same service provider, a quick online money transfer should be possible.

Fees vary across suppliers. For instance, PayPal does not impose any fees on users for carrying out domestic personal transactions that do not need a currency exchange. PayPal does, however, assess a fee equal to 5% of the amount being transferred when the transfer is made internationally. In 2022, the lowest possible charge will be 1.99 Euros. It can be worth the fee if you want a swift and trouble-free transfer. When it comes to more substantial transactions, however, the price is not the most affordable option.

Some services, such as those listed below, might be beneficial in terms of cost and convenience when it comes to international money transfers.

● CurrencyFair

● Remitly

● Wise

● WorldRemit

You may also utilize the online comparison tool that Monito provides to save money on fees, discover the best exchange rates, and choose the most cost-effective choice for making international money transfers.

Transferring money internationally from a French bank using the usual method

When most individuals think of transferring money overseas, their first thought is to their bank. Transferring money via the bank is a simple alternative, but it's not necessarily the most time- or money-efficient, or convenient one. On the bright side, wire transfers between banks are renowned for having a very high level of security. However, because banks in France also provide a comprehensive variety of financial services, they are unable to provide the same level of assistance and concentration as specialized money transfer providers.

Because of this, banks may provide exchange rates that are less competitive than those offered by professional foreign exchange brokers as well as greater transfer costs. This is because the second option has a higher volume of money transfers in France, which enables them to offer better discounts. It is common knowledge that some retail banks impose costs of more than €30, and their exchange rates are not transparent, including a margin of anywhere from 5 to 7% on top - yet another hidden price.

Transferring money to a foreign country via your bank may be done over the phone, at a branch, or online. These transactions are finalized in a few days.

Transfers outside EU/EEA

Bank transfers conducted in euros inside Europe may be eligible for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) agreement, which considers foreign payments conducted in euros in the same manner as transfers conducted within Europe. Make sure to verify with your bank for any relevant specifics.

Keep in mind that sending money from France to countries that are not part of the European Union or the European Economic Area will result in higher fees. This is because French banks are allowed the autonomy to set their fees in this respect. Before you sign anything, get it stamped, or take an oath under your blood, make sure you've checked with your French bank to see what the fees are. Transfers usually take between three and five full working days to complete.

Costs associated with making bank transfers abroad in France

When it comes to certain financial institutions, the comparison website International Money Transfers has provided an overview of some of the standard fees that are associated with moving money via one of the main four banks in France.

Crédit Agricole - €54.70 to €66.70 (plus a debit fee, SWIFT fee, and foreign exchange commission)

BNP Paribas - €24.50 to €104.50 (plus transfer fee, foreign exchange commission, and reception costs)

Société Générale – €29 to €90 (plus foreign exchange commission and correspondent fee)

Caisse d'Épargne – €52.45 minimum (plus 0.1% direct debit charge, correspondent fee, and 0.05% foreign currency commission)

Keep in mind that French banks are allowed to establish their rates and that these rates might change over time between bigger and smaller regional banks. Also, keep in mind that French banks are not regulated by the French government.

How long does it take for a bank transfer in France to take place internationally?

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, or SWIFT, is a worldwide program that helps speed up international financial transactions. France utilizes this initiative. The time it takes for funds to show up in the account of a recipient might range anywhere from one to three business days. Nevertheless, depending on the specifics of the situation, it can take as long as 10. This is dependent on the nations that are involved in the transactions as well as the sort of activity that is typical for your account.

If your transaction takes place inside the EU, you are eligible for SEPA benefits. Your transfer needs to arrive in the account of the beneficiary within a single day at the absolute most.

How to make a bank transfer for an international money transfer.

If you want to conduct an international money transfer in France via a bank, you are going to require specific information.

You are going to need to:

● The whole name of the receiver is written precisely as it appears on their bank account.

● A Business Identifier Code or a SWIFT code, both of which are occasionally required (BIC).

● The International Bank Account Number, often known as an IBAN, of the account that you want to have credited.

● Acquire the knowledge necessary to create a bank account in France.

When you make a transaction at the branch of most French banks, all that is required of you is to have your account card and to have your identification number (pin). However, certain financial institutions may need a picture identification along with proof of residence.

How to receive a money transfer from another country in France via a bank

Your Overseas Bank Account Number (IBAN), which can be found on your bank account, is one of the pieces of information that the sender will want from you for you to be able to receive an international payment. It's also possible that it's on your card.

Additionally, you will be required to supply the BIC. Because the answer varies depending on the financial institution you use, you should look it up on the internet.

Your sort code – unless you've given your IBAN

Account number — unless you've given your international bank account number (IBAN)

Your full name

Your address

You must provide both the amount and the currency in which you would want to be paid.

If the money transfer into France originates from a country that is not a member of the EEA, you and the sender are responsible for determining who will pay the fees associated with the transaction.

Money transfers internationally available through internet banking and mobile banking in France

The rise of online banking in Europe over the last several years has been one of the most notable and consequential developments in the world of finance. There has been a significant trend toward using internet banking in France, one of the major economies in Europe. The majority of French financial institutions are currently marketing their digital offerings. Additionally, new banks that pose a threat have just joined the market. Like Bunq, which is a mobile-only bank that caters to the needs of those living abroad in Europe.

A significant number of the world's largest financial institutions now provide customers with the option to do business either online or in the branch. This is a reflection of the rise in the use of mobile banking and internet banking in France. Figures from Eurostat for 2021 indicate that 72% of individuals in France utilize online banking, which is much higher than the average of 58% throughout the EU. Mobile banking is also on the increase, and it is projected that by the year 2020, two-thirds of individuals would have downloaded the mobile application offered by their bank. And 40% of them use the mobile banking app they have either every day or every other day.

In France, you may choose from several different mobile banking services, such as:

● Mobile banking services and applications may be accessed via a variety of popular national banks, including BNP Paribas, Société Générale, and CIC.

● Bunq, N26, and Revolut are just a few examples of online or digital banks that provide customers with multiple language choices, including English.

● E-wallet and payment services are currently provided by a variety of communications carriers, including Orange, Apple, and Android.

Money transfer service charges

The fees associated with sending money abroad from France are, on average, lower when using digital or mobile banking. However, you will need to check with specific providers and do some comparison shopping since the charges associated with French bank accounts may vary quite a little.

Learn about taxes in France

There are mobile-only banks that provide free checking accounts; but, more sophisticated payment methods come with a monthly cost linked to them. Free or low-cost options for worldwide ATM withdrawals, payments peer-to-peer (P2P), and international money transfers are offered by several mobile banks. However, some of them have a limit on the number of free transactions you may make each month.

The vast majority of the most popular mobile payment applications in France do not levy any fees for the usage of their general payment services. There is a possibility that fees may be assessed for some services, including quick transfers to specified accounts, payments to accounts denominated in a different currency, and payments that exceed a certain threshold.

Wire transfers in France

A lot of people have heard of companies that facilitate international money transfers, such as MoneyGram and Western Union. These kinds of international wire transfers are especially helpful in situations in which the receiver does not have access to a bank account, is located in a distant place, or needs cash immediately. To illustrate this point, consider the scenario in which the receiver loses their wallet and is in urgent need of money.

Because you can often transfer money online, over the phone, or in-store with money transfer operators in a matter of minutes or hours, using these services may be easy. However, when compared to the costs of other delivery alternatives, expedited international shipping might be more expensive. In addition, the fee might go up if you transfer a larger sum of money than the minimum amount required. Transferring money may cost anywhere from 0% to as much as 5% of the total amount being moved, but this percentage once again fluctuates depending on how much money you want to move. Some companies that facilitate wire transfers have specials and calculators that estimate prices, however, they may not always utilize the rate that is considered to be the most competitive on the market.

Both Moneygram and Western Union have substantial local footprints in France, making them viable options for customers looking for reputable money transfer services. However, if you are merely using a newsagent or store that provides the service rather than a Western Union or Moneygram facility that is devoted to providing that service, you should check to see whether they have the proper signage of either of the two companies before giving over any cash.

How wire transfers work

You must fill out the documentation in the correct manner for wire transfers to be successful. You will be asked to mention all of your key data, the most significant of which are your passport number, name, address, and contact information. You will also be expected to provide the details of the receiver, but the recipient's passport number is not necessary here.

To transfer and later receive the money, a legitimate form of identification is required from both you and the person to whom you are sending it. This is crucial, and if you do not have a legitimate and genuine ID, they will not give you the cash even if you ask for it.

The reference code

The last piece of information simply referred to as "the number," is considered to be of such critical significance that we have devoted the whole of this brief section to it. If you do not keep this in mind, your attempt to send money to France will be unsuccessful. After you have completed the necessary documentation and handed over your payment, you will be given a reference code. This code is the most important item. Verify that this code is correct before leaving the shop. There have been many missed birthdays, evenings out, and rent payments as a result of the reference number being written down erroneously or being given inappropriately.

You must provide the reference number to the individual who is the intended receiver. It must be an exact match. If you make even one mistake with a number or letter, you may as well have sacrificed the money to Poseidon by throwing it into the ocean.

If you are the receiver, you must verify the code with the person who sent it to you. If you can get it correct, then the money will be ready for you to collect. If you get it incorrect, you won't be paid a single penny.

Wire transfer fees

Both Western Union and Ria provide helpful charge tables, and Ria also provides a pricing calculator. If you go to the website of Moneygram and input the amount you are transferring along with the nation it is traveling to, they will provide you with an estimate of the fees associated with the transaction. Once you have the receipt in your hand, the transaction is finished and finalized, and this applies to all three of the exchanges.

Foreign exchange traders in France

In addition, certain foreign exchange brokers in France provide money transfer services. However, before working with any broker, you should check the mid-market rate, which is often referred to as the interbank rate, online. This is the actual exchange rate that banks use when transferring money to and from one another; hence, it is a useful reference. You may learn about the current currency rates and get a better idea of what to anticipate by looking it up on websites such as Google Finance, Reuters, and XE, amongst other places online.

The French call currency exchange brokers "bureaux-de-change," and you can find them all across the country. Some travel websites advise their users to avoid using currency exchange kiosks that are located at airports, ports, and other areas that are frequented by tourists. This is because they usually take significant fees or use an exchange rate that is far lower than the official rate.

How the process of money transfers at forex traders works

Some foreign exchange brokers, such as RIA in France, provide their customers the option of transferring money in person, online, or through their mobile app. In this regard, they function quite similarly to organizations that handle wire transfers. Additionally, the bureau de change may perform the function of acting as an agent for international money transfer organizations. As an example, Change Canebiere is a local agency for GlobalTransfert and is located in Marseille.

So how does it work?

The process of initiating and completing an international money transfer via the use of a forex broker is quite similar to that of using a wire transfer firm. There will be some minor deviations between the various companies, but in general, they should all adhere to a method that is roughly similar to the one that has been defined by Change Canebiere below.

Find the most advantageous means of money transfer available in France.

Sending money involves:

● Proceed to the transfer counter while you are at the foreign exchange office.

● Please provide a valid form of identification together with the amount you plan to transfer.

● You will need to pay the transaction costs.

● A document for you to sign and a very crucial control number for the money transfer will be given to you by the cashier (MTCN). Before leaving the shop, make sure this number is correct.

● Send the beneficiary or receiver the MTCN number by text message (SMS).

● The receiver may pick up their money virtually instantly from any of the local partner payment stations in their area. Alternatively, you might deposit money directly into their bank accounts (though this takes longer).

It is not difficult to have money sent to you when you use a forex broker. A local bank or payment partner is visited by the receiver, who provides the MTCN number. You are going to need to provide a valid ID. After the money has been transferred, you should be able to access it no later than 20 minutes later.

Keep in mind that you need to carefully study all of the paperwork. Have some luck (in French: bonne chance)!



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