When you arrive in France, it is recommended to open a bank account.
Opening a bank account
The opening of a bank account is compulsory for non-European nationals, it is generally free of charge.
All major French banks have branches in the city centres of Aix and Marseille:
- BNP Paribas
- Société Générale
- Credit Lyonnais
- Crédit Agricole
... and are generally open from Monday to Friday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm..
Many online banks have emerged in recent years. Depending on your country of origin, they may allow you to open a bank account before your arrival. This is something to keep in mind as it may happen to be very useful:
- Boursorama Bank
You can put money into your current account, either as a lump sum when you arrive (with traveller’s cheques for example) or through an international bank transfer.
Make enquiries about exact procedures from your bank before your departure to avoid high transfer costs.
Société Générale and BNP Paribas, partner banks of Aix-Marseille University, will be on site at the Welcome Desk.
Come and meet them to open your French bank account!
When you open a bank account, you will be given a payment card (called a “carte bancaire” or “carte bleu” in French). In France, the majority of payments are made by credit card and it is essential that you have one.
Some banks may charge credit card fees. Be watchful and choose banks that offer the use of the credit card free of charge.
Please note that after opening your account, it will take a few days to obtain your credit card. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash on you, but foresee enough money to cover the expenses of these few days. Or:
Before your arrival, make sure that you can use the credit card of your country of origin in France.
Cards commonly accepted in Europe are Visa, Mastercard and American Express.