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Essential Banking Tips for Ghanaian Expats in France

12 Feb 2024


Regardless of why you travel to France from Ghana, having a bank account in your host country is a must. The importance of having a bank account increases when you work in France to earn a living as a Ghanaian expatriate aiming to support your family back home in every money transfer from France to Ghana.

Not because you necessarily have to transfer funds through banks but because having a bank account helps you manage your finances more effectively.

In developed countries like France, the usage of hard cash is declining fast, pushing for the need to move money digitally, making having a bank account essential.

But do you know all you must about the banks in France and the essential banking tips? How do you open one, or which one do you open as a Ghanaian migrant?

Well, continue reading to get the necessary details.

Banks in France – Types and Details

A report by the OECDiLibrary revealed that about 1 million Ghanaians were living in different countries in 2020. Some of them are residing in France, too, for employment and education purposes. Those living in France can open one of the following bank accounts.

But remember that the selection of a bank account depends upon your financial needs, which you have to determine in the first place.

For example, any type of bank account may not be required if the purpose of opening one is to send money online to Ghana from France to offer financial support back home because more efficient and cost-effective ways for doing so, like ACE Money Transfer, are available.

The Classic Account

It is the normal and basic bank account type in France. In French, it is called ‘compte courant’, compte a vue’, compte cheque’ or compte de depot’. It is also known as the checking account or currency account used for routine financial matters like bill payments and so on.

The Savings Account

As the name of the account suggests, this account is used for depositing money for a fixed tenure to earn a profit in the form of interest. A savings account in France, however, has a few variants.

  • A passbook savings account is known in French as ‘livret A’ or ‘livret Jeune’
  • Accounts for industrial development known in French as ‘codevi’
  • Housing savings plans ELP and Home savings account CEL
  • Retirement savings plan or PERP known in French as ‘perco’

Some of the other bank account types are almost similar to the bank accounts you find everywhere. They are:

  • Individual accounts
  • Joint accounts
  • Undivided accounts
  • Term accounts

Basic Requirements to Open a Bank Account in France

Providing the necessary documents to open a bank account in France or elsewhere is essential. But in France, the requirements change slightly depending upon your status of residency. You will, therefore, find the following three broad residency statuses which the documents depend upon.

For French Residents

The natives need to provide the following:

  • Proof of Identity, including a valid French national identity card or a passport
  • Proof of Residence, including utility bills or rental contracts with your names on them and your French address to confirm your residence

For Non-Residents

The non-residents need to provide:

  • Valid passport to prove your identity
  • Proof of residence, which may be your home country’s residence, but it serves as your identity

For Expatriates

As a Ghanaian migrant employed in France to earn a living to send money to Ghana online from France you need to provide the following:

  • Valid passport to prove your identity and show legal status in France
  • Proof of residence from your home country or a temporary French address
  • Proof of income, including pay slips or rental contracts, to demonstrate your financial stability

These are the basic documents you need to provide, but different banks can ask for some other documents depending on a particular bank’s policies.

Remember that having a bank account offers multiple advantages but these financial institutions may not be perfect for online money transfers due to several risks and challenges banks still face in their operations.

Essential Banking Tips for Ghanaian Migrants Employed in France

Regardless of the purpose for which you open a bank account in France, it is undeniable that earning a living is tough and tougher still in a foreign country. So, managing your hard-earned money is essential, and the following few tips can help you a long way.

Keep Your Account Active

Every bank has a policy to close an account if it remains untouched for a long time. This time slightly differs from bank to bank, but normally it is 6 months. The banks charge you a fee for reactivating a dormant account. So, keep your account active and running.

Stay Updated about Other Banks

You must make sure to stay updated about other banks because the benefits and services your bank offers may have been overtaken by the services and benefits offered by other banks. If this happens, you may want to open an account in another bank to get the said benefits.

Be Proactive to Close an Account

If you have a bank account of any type in any of the banks in France, but you think you no longer need it, you should not simply forget about it. Rather, make sure to inform your bank to avoid paying unnecessary closing charges.

Read Account-Closing Terms

Many banks may charge you extra for closing an account that you have opened in the past for any purpose. The terms and conditions for closing an account are different. So, make sure to carefully read these terms to avoid paying extra charges.

Never Close an Unused Credit Card

Credit cards are an easy way to get loans from a bank for your expenses if the need arises. The ease of processing loans depends on your credit score, which depends on multiple factors, including the length of time your account remained open. So, never close an unused credit card.

Inform Your Bank before Travelling

Each time you plan to travel out of your state or city, never forget to inform your bank about it. Banks may block your transactions if they have a slight reason to believe a transaction is fraudulent. This can land you in financial trouble.

Use Your Bank’s ATM

Although you can hit any ATM to withdraw cash, whether you have an account with that bank or not, it incurs charges. So, to avoid paying a little extra, it is better to find the ATM of the same bank in which you have an account.

Look for Online Transactions

Make sure to choose a bank to open an account that offers you online transactions. Most banks do offer this service. However, it is important to go through the fee structure and thoroughly understand the policies, including the bank’s history and reputation, to prevent online fraud.

Wrapping Up the Discussion

For your overall financial management, a bank account is essential, but not if you want to send money to Ghana from France because of several issues, including fees, time, and static exchange rates.

Choosing ACE Money Transfer, however, is ideal as you get live and market-competitive rates, speed, safety, and much more in exchange for a low fee.

FAQs

What are the bank account types in France?

Some of the bank account types in France include checking accounts, savings accounts, joint accounts, undivided accounts, term deposits, individual accounts, housing savings plans, retirement savings plans, and so on.

Why is having a bank account in France necessary for me?

Having a bank account is necessary for you as a Ghanaian migrant working in France because, in most developed countries, the use of hard cash is diminishing fast. It leads to the use of currency in a digital way, for which a bank account is a must.

What are the advantages of having a bank account?

Some of the advantages of having a bank account include effective financial management, getting loans and insurance, smooth bill payment, tracking and managing money, an easy way to deposit and withdraw funds, safekeeping, and growing your wealth.

What are the requirements to open a bank account in France?

Different banks require different documents to open a bank account. These requirements, however, are different for natives, expatriates, and for non-residents. Expatriates, however, need to provide their valid passports, proof of residence, and proof of income.

What are the essential banking tips for me as a Ghanaian in France?

The essential banking tips you must know and practice include keeping your account active, informing banks before traveling, informing banks to close an account, staying updated about other banks, looking for online transactions and charges, using your own bank’s ATM, checking rates and fees, and so on.

Resources

  • Ghanaian diaspora

(2. Number of Ghanaian emigrants and their socio-demographic characteristics | A Review of Ghanaian Emigrants | OECD iLibrary (oecd-ilibrary.org)


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