International Money Transfers in France: How To Guide


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Understanding how to efficiently and securely send and receive money internationally is important for expatriates and foreigners residing in France. Whether you’re transferring funds to support family back home, managing investments, or handling everyday expenses, the process can seem complex.

We help you with how international money transfers from and to France works. We’ll cover essential considerations, including selecting the right transfer service, understanding fees and exchange rates, and ensuring secure transactions.


  • Familiarize yourself with terms like SWIFT/BIC, IBAN, and exchange rates for successful transactions.
  • Regulatory bodies like ACPR ensure the security of your financial transactions in France.
  • Evaluate transfer services based on fees, exchange rates, speed, and customer support.
  • Prepare necessary recipient information and documentation for seamless money sending.
  • Anticipate fees and be ready with your banking details to receive money in France.
  • Minimize costs by comparing services, watching for favorable exchange rates, and bundling transfers.

Understanding Money Transfers in France

Key Terms and Concepts

To begin, it’s important to familiarize yourself with several key terms and concepts that are foundational to international money transfers.


These are unique identifiers for banks worldwide, essential for international wire transfers. A SWIFT or BIC code ensures your money reaches the right bank.

IBAN (International Bank Account Number)

This international standard for identifying bank accounts is critical for sending and receiving money internationally. An IBAN reduces errors in transfer processes.

Exchange Rates

The rate at which one currency can be exchanged for another. It affects how much the recipient receives after converting the transferred amount into their local currency.

Understanding these terms is the first step toward making efficient and error-free money transfers.

Regulatory Bodies in France

The financial sector in France, including international money transfers, is regulated by several key institutions. The most notable among them is the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), which operates under the Banque de France.

The ACPR ensures the stability of the financial system and the protection of customers, policyholders, members, and beneficiaries of the entities it supervises. Familiarity with these regulatory bodies can provide reassurance about the security and legality of your transactions.

Choosing the Right Service for Money Transfers

Choosing the Right Service for Money Transfers

Selecting an appropriate service for your international money transfers involves considering several factors to ensure you find a reliable, cost-effective solution. Here’s what to look out for:

Criteria for Selecting a Money Transfer Service

Fees: Look for transparent fee structures. Some services charge flat fees, others charge a percentage of the transfer amount, and some may have hidden fees.

Exchange Rates: Compare the exchange rates offered. Even small differences can significantly impact the amount the recipient receives.

Transfer Speed: Depending on your needs, the speed at which funds are available can be critical. Services vary from instant transfers to those that take several days.

Customer Service: Reliable customer support is essential, especially for resolving issues with international transfers. Check availability and language support.

Types of Money Transfer Providers

FeatureBanksOnline PlatformsMobile Apps
FeesHighLow to ModerateLow
Exchange RatesLess CompetitiveCompetitiveCompetitive
Transfer SpeedSlow to ModerateFastFast
Customer ServiceBroadVariableApp-Centric

Banks: Traditional banks offer security but often at higher fees and less competitive exchange rates. They are preferable for large, infrequent transfers.

Online Platforms: Specialized in money transfers, these platforms usually offer better rates and lower fees than banks, along with faster transfer times.

Mobile Apps: For convenience and speed, mobile apps provide user-friendly interfaces for sending money internationally. They often integrate competitive rates and low fees.

Ensuring a Secure and Efficient Money Transfer Experience

Security Measures: Choose providers that implement strong security protocols to protect your financial information and transfers.

Regulatory Compliance: Ensure the service is regulated by relevant authorities, providing an additional layer of security and trust.

User Reviews: Look for feedback from other users, focusing on their experiences with the service’s reliability, customer support, and overall satisfaction.

Steps for Sending Money Internationally from France

Sending money internationally from France involves a straightforward process. However, ensuring you have all the necessary information and documents ready can streamline the process and avoid delays.

Preparing to Send Money

Gather Recipient Information: Collect accurate details of the recipient, including their full name as it appears on their bank account, address, and bank account number. For countries using IBAN, ensure you have the recipient’s IBAN and the bank’s SWIFT/BIC code.

Decide on the Amount: Determine the exact amount you wish to send. Consider if you will cover the transfer fees or if they will be deducted from the amount the recipient receives.

Choose a Transfer Service: Based on the criteria outlined in the previous section, select a money transfer service that suits your needs in terms of fees, exchange rates, and transfer speed.

Initiating the Transfer

Create an Account: If you’re using an online platform or mobile app, you will likely need to create an account. Provide the necessary identification to comply with regulatory requirements.

Enter Transfer Details: Input the recipient’s information and the amount to be sent. The service will then show you the total cost, including fees and the exchange rate applied.

Review and Confirm: Double-check all the details for accuracy. Mistakes in recipient information can lead to delays or the transfer being sent to the wrong account.

Make Payment: Choose how you will pay for the transfer. Options typically include bank transfers, debit cards, or credit cards. Some services also accept payments via mobile wallets.

After Sending the Transfer

Track the Transfer: Most services provide a way to track the progress of your transfer. Use any tracking numbers or confirmation codes to keep an eye on the transfer status.

Communicate with the Recipient: Inform the recipient of the transfer details, including the expected arrival date and any tracking numbers. This allows them to monitor the transfer from their end and confirm receipt.

Save Transaction Records: Keep a record of the transaction, including receipts, confirmation emails, or screenshots of the transfer details. This will be useful for future reference or if any issues arise.

Receiving Money in France from Abroad

Receiving Money in France from Abroad

Receiving international funds in France is a common necessity for expatriates and foreigners. Whether it’s for personal or professional reasons, understanding how to efficiently receive money from abroad is essential. Here’s what you need to know:

Preparing to Receive Money

Provide Your Details to the Sender: You will need to give the sender your full name as it appears on your bank account, your address, your bank account number, and, for international transfers, your IBAN and your bank’s SWIFT/BIC code. Ensure the accuracy of these details to avoid any transfer delays.

Choose a Receiving Method: Decide how you wish to receive the money. While bank transfers are common, you may also consider using online platforms or mobile apps that can facilitate the transfer, potentially offering lower fees or better exchange rates.

Be Aware of Potential Fees: Understand that some banks or transfer services may charge fees for receiving international money transfers. These fees can vary widely, so it’s beneficial to know them in advance.

Receiving the Transfer

Monitor Your Account: Keep an eye on your bank account for the incoming transfer. Depending on the service used, transfers can take anywhere from a few hours to several business days.

Verify the Received Amount: Once the money arrives, check that the amount matches what was sent. Be mindful of any deductions that may have occurred, including bank fees or differences due to exchange rate fluctuations.

Confirm Receipt with the Sender: Once you have successfully received the transfer, inform the sender. This confirmation is crucial for their peace of mind and to ensure there are no outstanding concerns regarding the transfer.

After Receiving the Transfer

Understand Tax Implications: Be aware that receiving large sums of money from abroad may have tax implications. It’s advisable to consult with a tax professional to understand any obligations you may have.

Keep Records: Maintain records of the transaction, including the amount received, the sender’s details, and any associated fees or charges. This documentation can be important for financial management and tax purposes.

Managing Exchange Rates and Fees

Managing Exchange Rates and Fees

Effectively managing exchange rates and fees is essential for optimizing the value of your international money transfers. Whether you are sending money from France or receiving funds from abroad, being strategic can save you a significant amount of money. Here’s how you can manage these variables effectively:

Strategies for Minimizing Costs

Compare Transfer Services: Different services offer varying exchange rates and fees. By comparing these, you can choose the most cost-effective option. Don’t overlook smaller, online platforms, which often provide better rates than traditional banks.

Understand Fee Structures: Some services charge a flat fee, while others take a percentage of the transfer amount. Additionally, hidden fees can be wrapped into unfavorable exchange rates. Aim for services that offer transparency in their fee structure.

Watch the Exchange Rates: Exchange rates fluctuate constantly. If your transfer isn’t urgent, monitor the rates for a few days or use a service that allows you to set a target rate, automatically executing the transfer once that rate is reached.

Bulk Transfers: Consider consolidating smaller transfers into one larger transaction. Larger transfers often attract lower fees and better exchange rates, reducing the cost per unit transferred.

Tips for Getting the Best Rate

Use Rate Alerts: Many online transfer services and financial websites allow you to set alerts for your desired exchange rate. This tool can help you transfer money when the rate is most favorable.

Negotiate Rates for Large Transfers: If you are transferring a significant amount of money, some services may offer you a better rate if you contact them directly.

Be Aware of Mid-Market Rate: The mid-market rate is the real exchange rate between currencies without any added margin. Knowing this rate can help you assess how competitive a service’s offered rate is.

Consider Currency Trends: If you are planning a future transfer and the current trend indicates that your currency will strengthen, you might wait before making the transfer. Conversely, if your currency is expected to weaken, you might want to transfer sooner.

Digital Platforms and Mobile Apps

Digital Platforms and Mobile Apps

In the digital age, traditional banks are no longer the only option for managing international money transfers. A myriad of digital platforms and mobile apps offer innovative, flexible, and often more economical ways to send and receive money globally. Here’s an overview of how these digital solutions can enhance your international money transfer experience:

Advantages of Digital Platforms

Competitive Exchange Rates: Many digital platforms offer rates closer to the mid-market rate, potentially saving you a significant amount on each transfer.

Lower Fees: With lower overhead costs compared to traditional banks, digital services can offer lower transaction fees. Some even offer fee-free transfers up to a certain limit.

Convenience: Digital platforms allow you to send and receive money from the comfort of your home or on the go, 24/7. This eliminates the need to visit a bank branch within working hours.

Speed: Transfers through digital services are often faster, with some platforms able to complete transactions instantly or within the same day.

Innovative Features: Features like rate alerts, recurring transfers, multi-currency accounts, and the ability to hold and exchange multiple currencies can significantly enhance your money management flexibility.

Popular Digital Platforms and Mobile Apps

TransferWise (now Wise)

Known for its transparency, Wise shows you the fees upfront and uses the real exchange rate for transfers. It also offers a multi-currency account with a debit card.


Apart from offering money transfer services, Revolut provides banking services like currency exchange, a debit card, and the ability to hold multiple currencies.

PayPal and Xoom

PayPal is widely used for small and medium transactions. Xoom, a PayPal service, specializes in fast international transfers and bill payments.


CurrencyFair allows you to set your exchange rate in a marketplace if another user matches your rate, potentially offering significant savings.


Focused on remittances, Remitly offers different delivery options, including bank deposit, cash pickup, and mobile money, with transparent fees and exchange rates.

Ensuring Security and Reliability

Regulatory Compliance: Ensure the platform is regulated by financial authorities, providing a level of security and recourse in case of issues.

Customer Reviews and Support: Look for platforms with positive user reviews and responsive customer support. This can give you insight into the reliability of the service and the quality of support you can expect.

Security Features: Opt for services that use strong encryption and security measures to protect your financial information and transactions.

Digital platforms and mobile apps represent the forefront of financial technology, offering efficient, cost-effective, and user-friendly solutions for international money transfers. By choosing the right platform, you can enjoy significant savings, convenience, and peace of mind when managing your cross-border financial transactions.


Originating from the lively city of Marseille, Luc embodies the essence of the French lifestyle, gracing our platform with enthralling glimpses into France’s rich culture and traditions.

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