French Language Blog

À la banque Posted by on Nov 19, 2021 in Vocabulary

Bonjour from France!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have recently moved to France. I’ve been spending the last few weeks with some logistical things, and one of those included opening a French bank account.

Photo from Pixabay, CCO.

When opening up a bank you will need the following documents:

  • une pièce d’identité officielle comportant une photographie (carte nationale d’identité, passeport, carte de séjour)
  • un justificatif de domicile (un avis d’imposition, une facture d’eau ou d’électricité, une quittance de loyer ou encore une attestation d’hébergement pour les personnes hébergée par un tiers)


  • an official identity document including a photograph (national identity card, passport, residence permit)
  • proof of address (a tax notice, a water or electricity bill, a rent receipt or even an accommodation certificate for people hosted by a third party)

Some banks in France include: Banque Populaire, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Societe General, or La Banque Postale.

If you face difficulties to open an account (which is possible if you are a not a resident, worker, or student) there is something called “droit au compte” (right to account): the Banque de France will appoint a bank and force it to open an account for you.

After you open your account, you will be issued a card as well as a Relevé d’Identité Bancaire (RIB- bank account information slip) which is what you can use for automatic rent payments, or other monthly bills.


cash – le liquide
bills – les billets
credit card – la carte de crédit
cash advance – le retrait d’espèces
account – le compte
ATM – le distributeur automatique de billets
cashier – le caissier
change – la monnaie
coins – les pièces
exchange rate – le taux de change
bank – la banque
dollar – le dollar

loan – le prêt
money – l’argent
interest rate – le taux d’intérêt
to refund – rembourser
traveler’s check – le chèque de voyage
savings account – le compte épargne
receipt – le reçu
to sign – signer
to exchange money – changer de l’argent

What are the charges? – Quels sont les frais?
I have three checks I’d like to cash. – J’ai trois chèques de voyage pour lesquels je voudrais de l’argent liquide.
I would like to buy some traveler’s checks. – Je voudrais acheter des chèques de voyage.
I would like to cash my traveler’s checks. – Je voudrais recevoir de l’argent liquide pour mes chèques de voyage.
What is the exchange rate? – Quel est le cours?
Do you charge a fee for that? – Prenez-vous une commission pour ceci?
Can I exchange money here? – Puis-je changer de l’argent ici?
I want to exchange only… dollars. – Je veux changer seulement… dollars.
Where can I exchange money? – Où puis-je changer de l’argent?
Can I use this credit card in your ATM? – Puis-je utiliser ma carte de crédit dans votre distributeur automatique?
Where is the closest ATM located? – Où se trouve le distributeur le plus proche?


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About the Author: Bridgette

Just your average Irish-American Italo-Francophone. Client Engagement for Transparent Language.


  1. terri:

    You say once you open an account, “you will be issued a car…” I’m moving to France! (Funny typo.)

    • Bridgette:

      @terri haha woops, yes come to France! 🙂

  2. Tony:

    Great! Thanks for this