Even if you’re away from home, you’ll feel at home with Crédit Agricole. Our friendly branch staff all speak English and our accessible current accounts are easy to use. You can even apply for our products from your home country !
We understand that it’s important for you to be able to discuss your financial matters in your own language. You don’t need to worry about speaking to us in French - all of our staff speak English.
To open a current account with Crédit Agricole, you need to provide:
With a current account from Crédit Agricole, you can :
Using your French bank account:
Every country has its quirks. Read our quick guide to “making payments” to learn how to use your French cheque book and pay bills.
Eating out, shopping at markets, going on holiday, paying bills… some payments are more enjoyable than others, but they all have to be made. With Crédit Agricole, you can choose the means of payment that suits your situation.
For daily purchases and cash withdrawals, most people turn to their debit card. Debit cards are a quick, easy and convenient way to pay, especially when they incorporate a Moneo electronic wallet.
Anything in particular you should know about French debit cards ? First, they use chip-and-pin security. Instead of signing a receipt, you simply enter your pin code to validate your payment. Remember, always keep your pin code safe !
Second, to help keep your account secure, the bank generates your pin code. This means you can’t use your birth date as your pin code, or use the same code for several cards ! If you have trouble remembering your pin, your bank adviser can help you to change it.
Third, you can choose between direct debit and deferred debit cards. If you have a direct debit card, the money is deducted immediately from your account. With a deferred debit card, all of the payments you make are grouped and deducted in a single payment at the end of the month.
Many companies, particularly utility companies like EDF and Gaz de France, welcome payments by direct debit.
Paying by direct debit is simple and efficient. Here’s what you need to do :
The company will withdraw the agreed amount on the dates stated.
You can use our online banking services to transfer money between different Crédit Agricole accounts.
Fax or post : send us your request in writing: one of our advisers will contact you to confirm the transaction. Please note that transfer requests must be made in writing and cannot be made by telephone. You will be charged a fee for this service: please consult our rates for further information. Online: if you have signed up for Crédit Agricole online banking, you can use this service to transfer funds to another French bank free of charge.
Fax or post : send us your request in writing: one of our advisers will contact you to confirm the transaction. Please note that international transfers must be made in writing and cannot be made by telephone. You will be charged a fee for this service: please consult our rates for further information. Online: if you have signed up for Crédit Agricole online banking, you can send us your request by email. One of our advisers will contact you to confirm your request. You will be charged a fee for this service: please consult our rates for further information.
Cheques are still a popular means of payment in France. Be careful though: the rules in France are quite strict. See below for details…
You can use cheques to make payments anywhere in France. Cheque guarantee cards do not exist in France, but you might be asked to provide proof of identity.
You can use your cheque book to withdraw cash in any Crédit Agricole branch in France. You can withdraw up to 400 euros in any 7-day period
Under French law a cheque is equivalent to cash. As such, cheques cannot be cancelled except in exceptional circumstances. A cheque can only be cancelled if it is lost, stolen or deemed fraudulent by the bank. If your cheque book is lost or stolen :
- call us on +33 (0) 892 68 32 08
You can also use a standing order (known in France as a TIP: Titre Interbancaire de Paiement) to make frequent payments, such as your phone bill or gas bill. The TIP is a payment order attached to your bill.
Gardening, childcare, French lessons, cleaning… a wide range of part-time services can be paid for with the “Cheque emploi service universel”. What is the “Cheque emploi service universel”? The “Cheque emploi service universel” (also known as “Cesu”) is a cheque book that helps employers avoid the red tape associated with Social Security contributions, monthly pay-slips and URSSAF registration numbers. Cheques can be used to replace standard contracts for part-time work of less than 8 hours per week or fewer than four consecutive weeks per year. They are an easy way to pay if you need to employ a home-help or child-minder or pay for a few private French lessons. Where can I get a cheque book? You can order a free cheque book through Crédit Agricole. Simply register for this service and fill in a direct debit authorisation form. We’ll send you a cheque book with 20 cheques and a set of pre-printed envelopes. The accompanying information pack includes a useful guide to drawing up contracts.
More commonly known as IBAN (International Bank Account Number), it provides all the information (bank code, branch code, account number) needed to set up direct debits (for payment of utility bills for example) and is compulsory for all incoming transfers (from France or abroad). If you are working in France, your employer will need your RIB information in order to pay you. We will provide you with this document as soon as your account is open.
We can issue you with a cheque book in Euros and a bank card, which are either on an immediate or differed debit basis (transactions debited in one sum at the end of each month). The cards are used with a four digit PIN number, both for cash withdrawals and payments. This system is considered highly secure, and preferable to the signature for payments. Cards issued by a French bank incur an annual fee, the cost of which you should check with your branch directly.
It can be done by direct debit (with a RIB). You should request an "Autorisation de Prélèvement" form from the service provider. TIP is another way to pay your bills. Similar to the UK Giro system, you have a tear off slip with each bill to sign and return to the service provider with your bank details, in order that they debit your account. You may also send a cheque in Euros drawn on your French bank account. Some companies accept payment of bills in cash at the Post Office - check with the service provider.
You may only put a stop on your card or cheque book in the case of loss or theft. In the first instance, call e-agence within office hours on our normal contact numbers. For a stop on your card, you may also call the 24 hour National Bank Card hotline (+33 969 399 291). For your cheque book, you will need to send us a signed confirmation by fax.
Interest to non-residents is paid gross by the Caisse régionale du Crédit Agricole Mutuel de Paris et d’Ile-de-France. In most cases, this is paid on the 31st December each year. The amount should therefore be declared in your country of fiscal residence (you may need to request a specific form from your home country to do this). If you are fiscally resident in France, you can decide to either be taxed at source on your interest ("Prélevement Forfaitaire Libératoire"), or to be paid gross ("Regime Général") and to declare the interest with your earnings in May/June of each year ("Déclaration de vos revenus"). Your choice will depend on your level of income (and therefore your tax band). If you do not stipulate your choice at the opening of the account, the "Régime Général" will normally be applied.
You will need to send a signed request by fax with all the details (IBAN & BIC are compulsory for European transfers; ABA routing numbers are compulsory for US transfers). Forms are available in your branch on your request.