How to open a current account in France as an expatriate

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Opening a current account in France is very important for social and financial inclusion since it opens the doors to several essential everyday services. Finding a place to live, receiving a salary, and collecting social benefits are all actions that can be very difficult if you do not have a payment account or current account.


Main financial services you will need to live in France

As a resident of foreign origin and, therefore, a member of a diaspora, you need certain financial services that are essential for a peaceful life in France. One of the services you will need is undoubtedly a current account!

It is important to first identify your needs and which financial institution will help you meet them. The needs of a resident of foreign origin differ in some respects from those of a native with no ties abroad. Therefore, a member of the diaspora needs at least the following financial services:

A current account

A payment account will allow you to manage your finances when necessary (e.g. to pay rent and bills, go shopping, pay for transport). Having this type of account, like a Moneytrans Smile Account, gives you the financial stability to manage your daily life with peace of mind.

A debit card

A debit card is a payment card that charges or ‘debits’ your account directly when you make purchases or withdraw money. The amount is immediately taken from your account and paid to the merchant’s account.
This debit card usually complements your payment or current account, and it is useful because you have physical access to it to your funds when shopping in a store or online.


An international money transfer company

As a resident of foreign origin, sending money to family is essential. Many institutions offer this service; with Moneytrans, you can send money to more than 140 countries around the world safely and with the best service.

It is essential to choose a trusted institution that will help you step by step, which Moneytrans has been doing for over 20 years. Combining this money transfer service with the current account Moneytrans provides will allow you to take advantage of many valuable benefits that will make your daily life easier, such as discounts available year-round or access to the Smile community, which offers training programs and entrepreneurial support.


What is a payment account or current account?

A payment account is exclusively dedicated to payment transactions; this type of account can be issued by a payment institution such as Moneytrans. For people from a diaspora, opening a current account is essential for daily financial operations, such as paying for purchases in shops and online, making cash withdrawals from ATMs (DAB) or making international money transfers.

A payment account, also known as a current account, provides access to a debit or payment card that uses only the funds available in your account.


The Smile Account: Open a current account with a free personalised Mastercard

We have seen how essential a current account is for a person from the diaspora in managing their daily needs. When you open your Smile Moneytrans Account now, you will receive a free Mastercard debit card in your name. In addition, you will be able to manage your account efficiently online without leaving your home and receive attractive rates on other Moneytrans services. This current account was created for residents of foreign origin who lack access to a service that meets their different needs.

You can open a current account online or in any of our Moneytrans branches in just 5 minutes and a few clicks. However, you will need to make an initial deposit of at least €5 to activate your account. Currently, if you open your account when sending money to a branch, Moneytrans will deposit €5 directly into your account! Upon opening your Smile Account, you will receive your free personalised Mastercard within 10 days; your current account balance will be immediately available online.

Unlike a traditional bank, Moneytrans has a wide range of hours and staff who speak your language. You have the choice of being greeted with a smile by one of our trusted operators in a branch or accessing your current account online from the comfort of your home. Moneytrans is now your all-in-one super app to meet all your financial needs.


Benefits of a Mastercard

There are many advantages to the Mastercard debit card:

  • Use the same payment system as the Mastercard credit card.
  • Pay anywhere in the world.
  • Keep your money safe when travelling.
  • Pay securely online with Mastercard SecureCode™.
  • Cash withdrawals at most ATMs.
  • Nearly 36 million acceptance points worldwide.


What is a bankless account?

A non-bank account, such as the Moneytrans Smile Account, is a current account issued by a non-bank financial institution. This type of account is ideal for those who want to benefit from a local service fully adapted to their needs and who want to avoid the hassle sometimes associated with traditional banking services (e.g. reduced hours, limited networks, rigidity). Therefore, opening a bank account in France is not always the best choice for a suitable service.

Depending on the financial institution you choose to open your current account in France, you can benefit from additional advantages linked to the different services offered. For example, you’ll receive preferential rates for money transfers at Moneytrans or and enjoy the hyper-proximity of services made possible by a large network of branches.


Should you open a bank account in France or open a non-bank online current account?

Banks are not known for their flexibility or their diaspora-friendly offerings. They often fail to consider the particular aspects of a foreigner’s life and integrate customers’ needs into what they offer. For example, to open an account in a bank, you may need to provide proof of income, which does not facilitate financial inclusion since one often needs an account to receive one’s first salary—it’s a case of the snake biting its own tail!

Fortunately, the current account provided by Moneytrans accommodates residents of foreign origin by offering tailored access to a range of essential services. When you choose between opening a bank account or a Moneytrans’ current account, choose the account that actually speaks your language: The Smile Account!

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