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Mobile banking in France

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

During the last few years, there has been a movement toward mobile banking in France. Many citizens now use online payment applications to pay bills, transfer money, and even pay for their groceries.


The rise of online banking in Europe over the past few 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 biggest economies in Europe; the majority of French banks now market digital services. The mobile-only bank bunq, which serves the financial needs of expatriates living in Europe, shows how everything works.


bunq


You may start a whole bank account with bunq in as little as five minutes using nothing more than your mobile phone. Bunq is a mobile-only banking solution. You will have access to your account in real-time, be able to receive payments instantly, and have access to professional customer service in English, Dutch, German, Italian, and Spanish.

Put your money on bunq!


Mobile banking in France


There is currently a mix of traditional brick-and-mortar banks, online-only financial institutions, and foreign institutions operating in France. The majority of the well-known financial institutions now provide conventional services at their branches in addition to digital services. This is a reflection of the rise in the use of mobile banking and internet banking in France. Figures from Eurostat show that today, 66% of the population of France uses online banking, which is much higher than the EU average of 55%. Additionally, mobile banking is becoming increasingly popular, as seen by the fact that in 2018, 40% of internet users in France used mobile banking services.


The following companies provide mobile banking services in France:


● 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 three examples of online service companies that include English among their many language choices.

● Services for mobile banking and payments are currently offered by a variety of communications carriers, including Orange, Apple, and Android.


Features of mobile banking in France


The capacity to conduct mobile banking is dependent on banking applications being downloaded into mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. These make it possible for consumers to access services and carry out activities using their own devices. Every bank in France has its app, and clients may use these banking applications for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to the following:


● Paying bills, moving money to multiple accounts, reimbursing pals for their portion of dinner, and even making purchases may all be done via the user's mobile device.

● Checking balances on accounts, keeping tabs on accounts, and creating budgets

● Accessing the most recent financial information to keep an eye on investments.

● Making contact with the financial advisors who work for the banks to get pertinent information and guidance.

● Getting access to money stored in mobile accounts from any location on the planet.

● Having access to one's account information and services round-the-clock is extremely convenient.


The ability to move money around between accounts and across borders with less hassle, speed of service (money can be transferred immediately), lower costs, and the availability of services in English are some of the advantages of mobile banking for expats in France. Other advantages include the ability to move money around between accounts and across borders with less hassle overall. You may make foreign payments in different currencies with bunq, which will save you up to eight times as much money as traditional methods and will also save you 3% on all card transactions made abroad.


The use of a smartphone for financial transactions is not without its drawbacks when compared to desktop banking and more conventional methods. The provision of loan services is restricted, and at this time, it is not possible to transfer money between accounts denominated in different currencies. Dependence on a connection through Wi-Fi presents even another challenge. Even while there is typically decent internet service across France, this might be a concern for those who reside in more remote areas.


Mobile payments in France


Mobile banking and mobile payments are both growing in popularity in France. Mobile payments are particularly popular in France. This method of doing financial business is an option for those who prefer not to use cash or credit or debit cards. In 2019, around 15.6% of smartphone users in France performed in-store mobile payments using their devices.


Innovative functions include contactless payment systems in which mobile devices can be waved over a payment terminal, digital wallets that link to bank accounts and can store and send money to third parties, and QR codes that can be scanned to pay for goods such as concert tickets. Other innovative functions include digital wallets that link to bank accounts and can store and send money to third parties.


The majority of the time, mobile payment applications that are installed on smartphones and tablets are connected to bank accounts. Apple Pay and Google Pay are two of the most popular mobile payment applications, both of which were introduced in France in 2016. Several large retailers, such as the French multinational retailer Carrefour, which introduced its Carrefour Pay app the previous year, have also established their very own mobile payment systems. In addition, many new firms are entering the market in France that provide a variety of services related to mobile payments. Lydia, Lyf Pay, Buyster, and S-money are a few examples of alternative cryptocurrencies.


How to open a mobile bank account in France


In France, opening a bank account using a mobile device is a simple and quick procedure. It is possible to do this with certain banks before you relocate, which is convenient for expats who may wish to make plans before departing.


There are no legal limits on establishing a bank account in a French financial institution for either a resident or a non-resident of France. However, the mobile banking services of certain banks are restricted to customers who are physically located in the bank's service area. To create a mobile account, you normally need to provide a form of identification, along with your residence address, in addition to providing contact information such as a cellphone number and an email address. Scanning documents and submitting them in digital format are both possible.


Before you may use the mobile banking services offered by certain conventional French high street banks, you need to create a regular bank account with them first. This might require you to provide extra documents. When you choose a bank that is accessible only online, such as bunq, N26, or Revolut, you have the benefit of being able to establish an account in a matter of minutes from any location around the globe.


Mobile banking fees in France


The costs associated with mobile banking are often lower than those associated with traditional banking. Because there are fewer overhead costs involved in the administration of mobile accounts, there are lower fees associated with mobile accounts.


Traditional high street banks in France often assess fees for a variety of services, including general administrative fees, debit and credit cards, big money transfers, and the use of services located in other countries. According to the findings of a survey conducted by Panorabanques in 2020, French banks charged their clients an average of €215.50.


The fees associated with these services are, on average, lower for customers with mobile bank accounts. 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.


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.


Mobile banking security in France


Concerns have been raised about the level of safety and protection offered by mobile banking. Despite the expansion of mobile banking in France, studies have shown that levels of confidence remain lower than they are with conventional banking. This is due to factors such as the security of data, the safety of transactions, and encryption.


However, financial service providers are continually attempting to address difficulties and reduce the likelihood of attacks. The usage of fingerprint identification with many mobile banking and payment systems, high levels of encryption, and a disconnect function after periods of inactivity are some of the safety features of mobile banking and payment systems.


You may defend yourself against dishonest people and breaches in security by adopting precautions such as the following:


● Setting up a robust password for your account is the first step in ensuring its safety.

● While signing into your app, try to avoid doing so on public networks.

● sign out of your account as soon as you're done using it, and do it as soon as possible.



Mobile banks versus traditional banks in France


Mobile banks in France provide several benefits that are not available at regular banks, although they do have certain restrictions. The following is a list of areas in which comparisons may be made:


Features and services


As technology advances, the capabilities of mobile banking continue to advance with it. Digital tools for financial planning and budgeting as well as investment monitoring are among the more complex features that are becoming accessible with various types of accounts. However, there are still several services that mobile banks are unable to provide, like loans, mortgages, and insurance.


Fees


In general, prices for fundamental services offered by mobile banks in France, such as payment charges, international money transfers, and the use of ATMs outside of France, are cheaper. Mobile banking makes it far simpler to open a free basic account than it is with conventional banking institutions. In addition to this, mobile banking institutions often provide cheaper interest rates. On the other hand, the fees associated with less typical services like loans and overdrafts might be much higher.


Security


Mobile banking is the safest type of banking because of additional security measures such as fingerprint ID account access. This is in contrast to the general public's perception of mobile banking. In addition, the operating systems used in smartphones are less susceptible to contamination by viruses and other forms of malware than those used in personal computers, and the increased level of encryption makes it far more difficult for hackers to get access to user accounts.


Convenience


The ease offered by mobile banking is perhaps the most significant benefit offered by this method. In France, customers who have mobile bank accounts have access to their accounts around-the-clock and may do routine tasks on their smartphones, such as moving money and making payments, with the touch of a button on their device. Creating an account with a mobile bank is not only simpler, but it also takes much less time. You won't need to go into a branch or book an appointment to do this task since it can be done in a matter of minutes on your phone.


Ethics


Historically, banking institutions have had tense ties with issues relating to ethics and sustainability. Some of the most well-known companies have provided funding and made investments in businesses such as the production of weapons and fossil fuels. Mobile banks are often friendlier to the environment since they do not use the same amount of resources as traditional banks. Because many of them are newer, smaller businesses, it is also less probable that they have cash tied up in immoral initiatives located in other countries.


Despite this, many traditional banks are now moving toward more transparent ethical corporate strategies and making more green investments. If this is an issue that is particularly important to you, you must research specific French financial institutions to learn more about their track records in this area.


According to the findings of research that has been carried out so far in France, mobile banks such as N26 and Revolut perform better in terms of ethical banking than conventional banks such as BNP Paribas and Society Generale.


Individualized attention


Traditional banking is still the best choice for customers that place high importance on face-to-face contacts and the ability to cultivate relationships with members of the banking staff. The ease of mobile banking does come at the expense of personalized service to some degree. These new banks, on the other hand, are revolutionizing how customers engage with financial services by establishing a robust presence on social media and making financial advisors accessible for online conversations.


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