A few ways to send money to France using a money transfer service or foreign exchange broker to a French bank account.
Transfer money to France
When transferring money to France regularly or occasionally. Either for a significant purchase or investment. You can take several measures to increase your chances of getting a great rate, improved service and ensure you send money to France safely.
Ways to send money to France
- Bank Transfer – You can elect to transfer your money directly to France from your bank account. Typically, the exchange rate for transferring money to France will be much less competitive than a foreign exchange provider’s currency exchange rate. You may have to visit your local bank branch to transfer a significant amount. When sending money to France via a bank transfer, you will also incur a transfer fee or charge of around £10-30.
- Debit Card – when paying for goods online or via an online retailer. You may have the ability to pay using a debit card but are unlikely to be offered a significant foreign exchange rate when sending money to France. You could also incur an administration charge from your bank to process the payment. Those looking to transfer money to France to purchase a second home; or pay a legal bill for a home purchase might be obliged to transfer money to France. Meaning they will need to use their bank or, ideally, a specialist foreign exchange provider. More often than not, a foreign exchange provider will accept your debit card as payment. Allowing you to enjoy the convenience, avoid a transfer fee and benefit from a better exchange rate.
- Credit Card – Ideal for renting holiday accommodation or rental property in France to get financial recourse and guarantee from your card provider. Not the most competitive in terms of the exchange rate offered, but sometimes air miles or bonus points can be more of an attraction.
- Swift/SEPA – Swift payments are relevant to money transfers outside the EU. Within the EU and therefore applicable when sending money to France is the SEPA payments system. For this reason, currency transfer to France can take a few days longer than EU member states and the United States.
Required Bank Details to transfer money
Identification – To send money via a banking institution, you will need 1-2 forms of picture ID and need to have your bank card in your possession when going to the branch. If you can send out money to France using your online bank account, you may need your card reader at hand and logins etc., for your account.
If using a foreign exchange broker’s services, all of your documents will be stored when you opened the account. They will ask you a few easy questions to verify your identity over the phone. Their online systems are comparable to those of a bank, just with far better online exchange rates.
IBAN – The IBAN will start with FR and proceeded with 24 characters. You’ll also need the name of the individual or business you are sending the money to credit a beneficiary.
Time needed to send money to France
- Typical time – for a foreign exchange broker to obtain, convert your currency to euros. Then move your cash to a French account or recipient; you need to allow between 1-2 working days. Occasionally the beneficiary bank may take a while to confirm and allot funds transferred. If using a retail bank, you should allow for 1-2 days more as their processing is typically slower.
- Same day money transfer – Providing funds are in your foreign exchange brokers account, you have a good chance of transferring your money to France and funds clearing the same day. Typically, a foreign exchange provider will quote 1-2 days as it might take the beneficiaries bank account a day or so to clear funds. Your bank will take a lot longer, typically 2-4 days.
Costs making a money transfer to France
- Transfer Fees – A bank will typically charge between £10 -£40 to transfer your money to France. The vast majority of foreign exchange providers won’t charge a fee. None featured on Foreign Exchange Live charge do.
- Commission – Commission taken by banks differs from bank to bank; however, they are invariably uncompetitive when compared against those from a foreign exchange provider. A broker will commonly save their clients between 1-4% when sending money to France.
- Exchange Rate – Banks will typically work from a ‘day FX rate’ set when the local branch opens. A spread or margin will be added to cover any daytime volatility to cover any euro currency market fluctuations. On the other hand, foreign exchange brokers work from live euro rates. Allowing their clients to benefit from positive movements and seek guidance if the euro exchange rate works against you.
Fees to Receive Money in France
France is part of the SEPA payments service. Therefore, if you send money from a European country, you shouldn’t incur an intermediary fee or charges. If you are charged a fee, your bank can take this, and you can typically address this with them. It is, however, highly uncommon.
Limits on money transfers to France
There aren’t any transfer limits providing you, or your company can warrant the payment. Your foreign exchange provider is willing to make the payment; there is no restriction on how much you can trade.
Generally, suppose a transfer goes beyond ₤ 500,000+. In that case, your foreign exchange provider could request a copy of a bank declaration revealing evidence of funds or a document explaining the reason for transfer (e.g., French home purchase agreement).
Transfer deposit to open a French bank account
A financial institution and also a foreign exchange broker will help you deposit funds into your French savings or current account. Just make sure any required paperwork, including your French current account information, is to hand. They’ll both be able to assist with your bank deposit transfer to France.
Normally your French financial institution will expect you to deposit upwards of EUR100 as an initial deposit when your French account is opened. The amount expected is naturally is subject to the account type and bank you pick.
Do Foreign exchange companies send money to all French Banks?
Providing your French bank or your beneficiaries’ French bank is fully regulated and approved. You will have no issue sending money to France. The transfer will typically take 1-2 days to clear and funds be received.
Safely Send Money to France
The excellent news is Foreign exchange service providers are incredibly conscious of global settlements fraud. As well as being diligent on your behalf, they will cross check suspect beneficiaries through their systems and flag any questionable payments.
- FCA – Constantly guarantee your foreign exchange provider is financial conduct authority (FCA) authorised. A broker should never be unwilling to share their number on the FCA’s register and publicise it on their website.
- Guarantees – Whilst a broker will not have the ability to supply guarantees or assurances, their accounts need to be held with tier 1 financial partners. Client funds transferred to these accounts must be set apart from their working capital. If something happened to the currency broker, you could redeem the funds directly from the tier 1 bank.
- Protection/security – Foreign exchange brokers comply with strict anti-money laundering protocol to ensure they are just dealing with legitimate customers and companies. This secure processing continues when they transfer funds, brokers will request information on transfer whose beneficiaries look dubious. Their trading systems are encrypted and apply high levels of online security to avoid the possibility of their data being corrupted.
- Fraud – Regrettably, Fraud does exist and can take place if you’re not attentive. Never send your logins etc., over email or be incentivised to make an international transfer by your foreign exchange specialist. Always ensure correspondence with your broker is from the correct email address. If you are spoken to by an unfamiliar or new account manager, agree to call them back to guarantee they are an employee of your foreign exchange provider.
Reasons to transfer money to France
- Bills – Your French property leasing or home will naturally include ongoing prices. These might consist of local real estate tax, repair work costs or utilities. A foreign exchange broker will be more than pleased to help top up your French bank account to cover these regular bills.
- Loans – If you have borrowed money from a family member abroad, you may wish to send them money to settle the loan. Additionally, you might want to pay off a piece of your French residential or commercial property home loan.
- Family – Birthday celebrations and also Christmas are never far away. A foreign exchange broker can be used to send financial presents to family members overseas.
- Property – When the Euro foreign exchange rate jumps in your favour, you could want to capitalise and make home improvements.
- Estate settlement – sadly, many encounter relatives dying overseas. You may be confronted with having to repatriate the proceeds of an abroad inheritance.
- Car Purchase – If relocating to France, you may want to purchase a vehicle to commute or travel around the country.
- Holiday – If renting a villa for a vacation overseas, your foreign exchange provider will, without a doubt, guarantee you get a better price than your bank or bank card.
- International wholesalers – When running a local business, you need to acquire goods or items from worldwide wholesalers that trade in a foreign currency.
Foreign Exchange Brokers
Considering the services of a credible foreign exchange specialist is the best way to save money when sending money abroad. Savings between 1-4% are feasible, significant on regular transfers and French property purchase money transfers. They can also provide you with several solutions to maximise the amount of currency you receive in France.
Finding a reputable Foreign Exchange Broker
Clients can compare the offerings of transfer services and foreign exchange brokers in many ways when they need to transfer money to France.
- Regulation – always ensure the foreign exchange provider you use is regulated. In the UK, for example, brokers must be authorised by the FCA (financial conduct authority)
- Length of time in business – typically indicating knowledge of the market, number of clients they’ve helped, stability in the market. They are most likely to have helped many other clients transferring money to France and dealt with many different scenarios.
- Transfer fee or no transfer fee – especially worth considering when the payments being transferred to France are small. A transfer fee can typically outweigh the advantages of sending the money to France via a bank or broker, even if the rate offered is competitive. All brokers promoted on Foreign Exchange Live work on a fee-free basis.
- Online transfer, telephone transfers or both – online Apps are great for small transfers to France. Recourse can be slow if the money goes astray. Customer service, when dealing solely online, can vary. Much of this service is via a chat/text box or email. An established foreign exchange specialist will operate both an online and telephone dealing service. Meaning you speak directly to an account manager assisted by a back-office team or customer service division.
Find The Right Broker To Transfer Money To France
Specialists such as Moneycorp and Rational FX have vast experience in advising and assisting clients worldwide and saving them thousands of pounds in the process.
- Customer Service – Banks are cumbersome and hard to contact from overseas. Transfer apps can be convenient for smaller payments but don’t offer prompt customer support if an issue arises. Foreign exchange brokers offer a consistent service. All clients receive a personal account manager with a direct email address and phone number to enable easy contact and customer service if required.
- Safety and Security – All top foreign exchange brokers will hold client funds in segregated accounts. All transactions are conducted following the FCA regulations and guidelines. We strongly advise checking with your broker on the exact details.
- No Expensive Fees or Charges – Depending on the bank, for each transaction, it could cost anywhere from £10 to £4o or local currency equivalent. A foreign exchange specialist will process your transfer to France with no transfer fees and a narrow margin (or spread).
- Better Exchange Rates – A bank will, as a rule, be making a spread of between 2-6%, whereas the rates on offer from leading providers will be around 1%. Once your trade is executed, you will be provided with a deal notification showing clearly the base currency amount and the number of Euros purchased.
Foreign Exchange Contracts
A foreign exchange broker offers several supplementary services not available in banks or on many money transfer apps. These include:
- Spot contracts – Arranging a transfer and agreeing on a rate, and sending the money to France shortly after.
- Forward contracts – fix today’s exchange rate for payment up to 2 years in the future. You are guaranteeing the cost of your purchase and avoiding foreign exchange volatility.
- Stop-loss – If your currency pair is trending lower, a stop-loss protects your currency from depreciating too much. The money is traded automatically when the exchange rate reaches the agreed level.
- Firm order – target a rate superior to the current foreign exchange market rate. Once the desired exchange rate is reached, the currency is purchased automatically day or night.
- Option contract – as with the forward contract and having the ability to opt for a better exchange rate is the market rate improves. Typically for businesses rather than private clients.
- Regular international transfers – A payment plan to send money overseas regularly.
Documents needed for a foreign exchange broker account
The application to open your foreign exchange trading account can be completed within minutes. The first step is to apply online, giving personal details and a brief overview of transfer needs. Once complete, you will typically need to supply the following to get your account approved
- A valid form of photo ID
- Recent utility bill or address proof (less than three months old)
List of Foreign Exchange Brokers
- Boutique brokerages such as Newbridge FX offer tailored services. Catering to their client’s needs and work tirelessly to limit their FX risk.
- Midsize brokerages such as Rational FX operate both corporate and private client operations, focusing on critical markets such as France and Spain.
- Large multi-Geographic operations such as Moneycorp operate in multiple jurisdictions. They have many local offices to best serve their global clientele.
Arranging a transfer to France
Once you’ve chosen which foreign exchange provider or bank you will use to send money to France, you’ll need to arrange a transfer. The money transfer to France can either be placed online or by phone with your foreign exchange specialist. Firstly, you will need to agree on an exchange rate on the amount you wish to send and pay for the transfer. This payment will typically be made via transfer from your bank to the provider’s segregated account. Next, you’ll need to provide the beneficiary details in France. The payment can then be processed by the provider, and sums of money sent to France.
Large Money Transfer to France
If buying a second or relocating to France, you may need to make a more significant money transfer to France. When dealing with more substantial amounts, the timing of any transfer to France is crucial.
FX brokers will suggest getting in touch at least a few weeks before the French money transfer is required. The difference on a £1000 transfer to Euros, if the rate moves by 3% are £30. However, a large money transfer of £100,000 to the Euros, which experiences the same 3% movement, will vary by £3000. Meaning you could receive more euros if timed correctly.
Instant Money Transfers to France
A handful of FX providers will be able to make instant money transfers to France. The transfer fees taken by these instant transfer companies are comparable to those charged by banks. The Euro exchange rates on offer are similar to those taken in airports and train stations.
When should I use an Instant Money Transfer Service?
Employing an instant money transfer service to transfer money to France should only be considered once all payment methods have been exhausted. Suppose a relative or friend is without money and in dire straits whilst in France. In that case, instant money services can be a straightforward way of getting money to them quickly. You will, however, pay for this convenience, and the commission taken by the provider relative to the amount will be high.
Banks in France
The leading French banks include Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Société Générale. These banks will offer many of the services required when moving to France, including Mortgages, investment vehicles and insurances. They will be very limited when it comes to advising on international money transfers. Advice should be sought the moment you have an account open or find your future residence.
Opening a bank account in France
To open an account locally or via the English-speaking service provided by AXA Bank, you will require the following as a minimum. Although please be warned requirements can vary with each branch setting its parameters.
- Photo ID – passport or photo ID drivers’ licence
- Documentation on your residency status
- Your address or future address – you can use a copy of your compromis de vente if you haven’t completed on your property transaction
In some cases, you may be requested to provide a cash deposit for the account or reference from your French employer
To qualify for a French bank account, you will have to fulfil the following criteria to be accepted.
Be over the age of 18 years old.
- Are a resident in a country where the bank accepts applications. Many, for example, choose not to deal with those outside of Europe.
- Visit France frequently or are intending to purchase property shortly.
Can I Send Money from a French Bank Account to the UK?
Sending money from a French bank account to a UK account will pose no issue. You may have to visit the bank if the transfer from your French bank is over €25,000. If using a broker, they’ll alert you when the funds arrive from France. An exchange rate can either be fixed upon reception of the euros or beforehand. You’ll need to provide details of your UK account or beneficiary to process the transfer and send the pounds.
Can I Send Money from a French Bank Account to a US Bank Account?
A foreign exchange specialist can arrange a transfer from France to the US with relative ease. The FX provider you work with will need your US account’s details, including the swift number, to execute the Euro to USD transfer. An exchange rate can be agreed upon before the funds arrive or once they appear in your FX account.
Releve d’Identite bancaire – French bank account details
From country to country, bank details will change in format, and different terminology will be used. However, add in a foreign language and banking internationally, and it can soon become baffling. In France, this is very much the case. Fortunately, the vast majority of French banks issue a cheque book. Your account details can typically easily be located within this cheque book.
Your French bank details or RIB (releve d’identitie Bancaire) can be passed on to your bank or international payments provider to send money quickly and easily. Likewise, suppose your Notaire or French estate agent provides you with their beneficiary accounts. In that case, these will almost certainly be supplied in a RIB format and can be passed onto your foreign exchange broker, who can route funds within 1-2 days.
Sending Bank Deposits to France
Banks and foreign exchange specialists will be more than able to make bank deposit transfers to France. All you’ll need to hand in is the account details, including the IBAN, to send a bank deposit to France. The transfer will take 1-2 days to clear in France.