Send Money to France with a Great Rate

Information verified correct on December 5th, 2016

uk_france

Who else wants to learn about the different methods one can use to send money to France?

The 2001 UK census recorded over 95,000 French-born residents, and this increased to more than 137,000 in the 2011 census. Around half from the second census resided in London. While most of the French nationals in the UK live in England, you can find them in Scotland and Ireland as well. The French consulate in London estimates that around 400,000 French nationals live in the city.

In terms of trade, France is UK’s third largest export market. In 2010, exports from the UK to France stood at £16.542 billion, and this increased by 14.3% to £18.905 billion in 2011. Exports from France to UK also increased during this period, by 5.5%. Over 19 million British citizens visit France each year, and in 2012 the most number of Visitors to Britain came from France.

Given the relations between these two countries, it is only natural that people want to send money from UK to France every once in awhile.

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Case study: Banks versus money transfer services

Quentin Dubois moved to London because of work, and while he asked his aging parents to join him, they preferred to stay back in Marseille. His parents are fairly self-sufficient, but he wishes to send them money every once in awhile, and he plans to send around GBP500 every month.

When Quentin moved to London he had the option of using the bank he dealt with to go ahead with the transfer, but he wanted to make sure he got the best deal, so he decided to compare his options. This is what he found.

Money transfer service 1Money transfer service 2
Exchange rateGBP1 = EUR1.3400409GBP1 = EUR1.3417
Transfer fee£37£0
Amount received for £500EUR620.44EUR670.85
Transfer timeOne dayOne day
Transfer optionsBank account, cash  pickupBank account
Difference ofEUR50.41

Both the options here take around the same time for the transfer, but the first option lets the recipient pickup cash if required. However, the using the second option Quentin can end up sending around €50 more every time he transfers £500.

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How do I compare transfer companies when transferring money to France?

There is no dearth of options when it comes to sending money to France, and you can turn to mainstream banks as well as specialised international money transfer services. When comparing your options, the following require your attention.

  • Rates and fees. The exchange rate can differ considerably from one service provider to the next, as can the fees they charge. It is crucial that you look at both, because a seemingly great exchange rate might come with high fees, and a business that charges little to no fees might offer poor rates.
  • Transfer methods. This essentially depends on how you wish to send the money. Banks and some money transfer companies let you do this is person, most allow you to initiate such transfers online and some let you send money over the phone.
  • Pick up methods. If the person you’re sending the money to has a bank account, you can consider transferring funds directly into the bank account. Alternatively, you can also get the recipient to collect cash at a physical location.
  • Using the same bank. If you and the recipient have accounts with the same bank you can consider using its services to send money. This option might result in you paying very little or no fees, but you still have to pay attention to the exchange rate.
  • Processing time. Money transfer companies that allow cash pickups normally complete the transfer almost immediately.Time it takes to transfer money to a recipient’s bank account can vary from one day to six days or more.
  • Customer service. You may need to contact your service provider in various scenarios,especially if you plan to send money to France regularly, so the level of customer service any such service provider offers is important. Look for companies that offer phone, chat and email support, and you can even find companies that provide free market analysis.
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How do I send money to France from the UK?

The euro is a heavily traded currency, so sending money from UK to Frances presents multiple options.

  • Banks. International bank transfers give you an easy way to send money to France, and if you’re turning to your bank expect it to charge a fee. Banks typically take one to six days to complete such transfers, but in some cases they can take even more time. You can consider sending cheques and money orders issued by banks via mail, but this process can take time.
  • Non banks. Non banking businesses that let you send money to France include ones that have physical outlets and allow cash pickup and ones that limit to transferring money online. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram have outlets in France from where recipients can get cash. If you turn to a business like PayPal you’ll have to limit to sending money online.
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Emergency cash transfers in France

France isn’t particularly far from the UK, but if you end up getting stuck in France without your wallet the proximity might make little difference. Luckily, you have options of getting emergency funds, details of which are as follows:

  •  Money transfer. Get a relative or friend back home to send you some money using a money transfer service that allows cash pickup. To get your hands on the money you simply have to identify your closest outlet.
  • Cash advance. If you use a Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card, you can get an emergency cash advance. In this case, a local banking institution would give you the money you need and charge it to your account.
  • Travel insurance. When travelling overseas, to France or elsewhere, getting travel insurance is a good idea. Some such covers give insurance holders access to emergency money in a variety of scenarios.
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Cash pickup locations in France/ Western Union / MoneyGram branches in France

If you wish to collect cash from a physical location in France or if you want someone else to, you can turn to Western Union or MoneyGram. To collect transferred funds, the recipient should present a reference number that the sender receives, along with a valid form of identification. Some of the locations in France include the following.

Western Union

Paris

  • La Banque Postale
    9 Place De L’hotel De Ville
    Paris, 75004
    +33-825009898
    Open 08:00am to 06:30pm Monday to Friday, 08:00am to 11:30am on Saturday, closed on Sunday
  •  Change Master Arcole
    21 Rue D Arcole
    Paris, Ile De France 75004
    +33-800900191
    Open 09:45am to 09:00pm Monday to Sunday

 Marseille

  • La Banque Postale
    3 Rue De La Caisserie
    Marseille, 13002
    +33-825009898
    Open 09:00am to 05:00pm Monday to Friday, 09:00am to 12:00am on Saturday, closed on Sunday
  •  I Com
    16 Rue Des Feuillants
    Marseille, 13001
    +33-486773297
    Open 09:00am to 09:00pm Monday to Sunday

MoneyGram

 Paris

  • Tabac Saint Michel
    22 Rue Saint Andre Des Arts
    Paris, 75006
    +33-146330808
    Open 06:00am to 08:00pm Monday to Sunday
  •  The Change Group
    19 Boulevard Saint Michel
    Paris, 75005
    +33-960063531

 Marseille

  • MGF Agence
    6 Rue De Rome
    Marseille, 13001
    +33-491040664
    Open 09:00am to 07:00pm Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday
  •  I Com
    16 Rue Des Feuillants
    Marseille, 13001
    0621341798
    Open 09:00am to 10:00pm Monday to Sunday
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Tips for picking up cash in France

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s advice to people travelling to France is that they should take suitable precautions against street and car crime. You should not keep your money, valuables and passport in the same place, and try carrying your bag across your body instead of on your shoulder. Keep your bags close to you in bars and restaurants, watch out for distractions around cash points and keep an eye out for pickpocket gangs.

Be wary of pickpockets and thieves on RER lines, the Paris underground and mainline stations. Remain watchful when handling money or cards at cash machines and in public places.

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How to send money to France

No matter what method you choose, you’ll have to provide some information to the service provider.

  • Transfer to bank account. If you’re sending money directly to someone’s bank account, you’ll have to provide his or her name, the account number, the bank’s name, the bank’s IBAN number, the bank’s SWIFT code as well as the recipient’s physical address.
  • Cash pickup. The first step in this case would be to create an account with the chosen service provider, for which you’ll have to provide your name, address and phone number. To set up a transfer you’ll have to provide the recipient’s name along with a desired pickup location.
  • Other methods. You can send money order and cheques via mail, in which case you’ll need no more than the recipient’s mailing address.
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