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Bank account

Even if it is not mandatory, you will most likely have to open a French bank account. Salaries and reimbursments of health expenses can only be paid on a French bank account. 

Our banking partners for international students

​The International Welcome Desk of Université Paris-Saclay has a partnership with banks in order to facilitate the administrative procedures of international students and PhD students. If you open a bank account in one of the banks below, you will be put in contact with a specific bank officer, speaking both French and English, and you will be able to open an account during the Arrival Days.

    BNP Paribas :

    Société Générale :

Please note that if you have to provide a residence permit or student card to carry out this procedure and that you do not have the requested document yet, you can replace it by another document you already have (confirmation of application for a residence permit, letter of admission to the university...).

Opening a bank account

The documents required to open a bank account are usually:

  • an ID or passport
  • a residence permit if applicable
  • a proof of accommocation in France with your name on it (rental contract or lease, electricity invoice...)
  • a student card (only for potential advantages offered to students)
  • The "RIB" (Relevé d'Identité Bancaire), the bank account details

In France, the RIB is a document provided by the bank that you can send to companies or people to give your bank account details. It contains your bank account number and your contact information. It will be used for example to pay your salary or reimburse your health expenses. There is usually a RIB in each chequebook. If you need several, you can ask for it at your bank office or download it online on your personal account.

  • The "Relevé de compte", the bank statement

The bank statement details all the operations on your account for a specific period (a month for example). You can find it on your personal account. It also indicates how much money is on the account when the statement is sent.

Means of payment

If you need a chequebook, you need to ask for one when you open your account. You will receive it within 2 weeks and it is free of charge. Make sure your bank account always has enough money on it: if you write a cheque and the amount is higher than what you have on your account, you will have to pay fees and the bank can also take back the chequebook and not allow you to spend money from the account.

In order to prevent false cheques, you may be asked to show an ID when paying by cheque in a shop. Cheques from foreign bank accounts are rarely accepted.

Most of the time, it is a debit card that you can use to pay for your purchases and get cash from an ATM. The debit card is sent by the bank with a secret code. The yearly fees depend on the type of card and on the bank (from €15 to €40). The most common debit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard, are almost always accepted in France.

Please note that credit cards do not exist in France or are very rare. This is why you have to make sure that you always have enough money on your account.

With your debit card, you can get cash at an ATM, which you can find easily everywhere in France. Only euros are accepted for cash payments.