Five important things to know about banking in France

Written by on April 3, 2013 in Banks and Banking

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The answers to five common questions about banking in France:

How do I write a cheque/check out in France?

Always write it in French (it is surprisingly easy to forget) and remember that in France a full stop/point is used to mark the thousands, while a comma (virgule) separates the cents: one thousand Euros is written as €1.000,00 (mille euros)

A comma marks the fractions in a percentage: seventy three point three percent is written as 73,3% (soixante-treize virgule trois pourcent)

See our step by step guide to writing a French bank cheque.

How much does it cost to transfer money to France?

If you’re new to exchanging currencies, it’s worth pointing out that you’re looking for the best exchange you can. This means, if you intend to sell US dollars for euros for instance, and the rate is 0.75 one day, but then moves to 0.80 the next day, you’ll get more euros on the second day than on the first. Generally speaking, whatever currencies you plan to exchange, it’s better for you if the value you buy at is higher. This will give you a higher overall total. So, the answer to this one is, it varies and it pays to shop around.

Read out tutorial on how to transfer money to France and what to look for to help you get the best rate.

What are bank opening hours in France?

Most banks are open Monday to Friday from 08:30-17:30 but note that most of them will close at 12.00- 14.00 for lunch. Some banks are open Saturday morning and closed on Mondays, try to check in advance if a bank will be open when you want/need it to be.

Can I get a Cashier’s Check /Bankers Draft from my bank in France?

Yes – but remember to give a couple of days’ notice at least amd put your request in writing. Cheques/checks in France are commonly used and do not need to be backed by a cheque guarantee card. Paying by cheque without sufficient funds in France is a criminal offence, they are treated like cash and will clear the day they are presented.

More about cheques in France

Can I use my Debit or Credit card in an ATM machine in France?

Yes you can – as long as your card is of the chip and pin variety. All ATMs and bank technology in France uses the chip and pin system which requires you to have a 4-digit pin number.

Most banks will charge you for using your overseas card in at ATM in France.

More on using ATM machines in France

More answers to frequently asked questions about banking in France.

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