What information do you need for a bank transfer?

France By Fabien Lesage September 20, 2022

Article summary

Bank transfers are among the most common transactions most of us make day to day. They can be used to pay a bill, lend money to a friend, help a family member, or even to move money between your own accounts. But what information do you need to make a transfer of money between individuals?

Read our complete guide to find out more about bank transfers, the difference between domestic and international transfers, and how to receive money by bank transfer.

You will also learn about any transfer fees that might apply, what happens in the SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area), and what information to give for a bank transfer.


In this article


What is a bank transfer?

The way we move money between banks has evolved in recent years. The chequebook has become virtually obsolete, while health concerns posed by money being exchanged by hand have pushed us closer to a fully cashless society. Bank transfers are now the preferred payment means in France, with their reliability, simplicity and speed appealing to the public.

Another reason for bank transfers’ success is the added peace of mind they can provide. Banks have developed intelligent protection systems that work to prevent theft of your money, data and bank details. Many banks now guarantee an immediate replacement of funds in the event of fraud or theft while they carry out their investigations.


Information necessary for a domestic bank transfer

Bank transfers within France are known as domestic transfers as they’re issued and received in the same country. You can easily make domestic bank transfers online, through your banking app, or in person at one of your bank’s branches.

Domestic transfers fall into two categories: internal and external. With internal domestic transfers, the sender and receiver’s accounts are both held with the same bank. External domestic transfers are made between accounts at two different banks.

To make an internal or external domestic transfer online or in person, you’ll typically need:

  • the name on your receiver’s bank account.
  • your receiver’s IBAN (international identifier of the bank account).
  • your receiver’s BIC (bank identifier code, also known as SWIFT).
  • the amount you wish to transfer.

You should also enter the RIB (relevé d’identité bancaire), which is the number that makes it possible to identify your receiver’s account without error.


Information necessary for a European bank transfer

European transfers within the SEPA zone are subject to European rules. SEPA consists of 36 countries largely within the European Union or European Economic Area (EEA). The UK remains part of SEPA, despite having left the European Union.

To send or receive money by bank transfer within SEPA, you’ll typically need:

  • the name on your receiver’s bank account.
  • your receiver’s IBAN.
  • your receiver’s BIC (or SWIFT) code.

A SEPA transfer can only be made in euros, even if it’s intended for a bank account denominated in another currency. It’s up to the beneficiary’s bank to convert your bank transfer into the receiver’s home currency. This may result in an exchange fee, the amount of which can vary from bank to bank.


Information necessary for an international bank transfer

Do you have loved ones living or working abroad? If so, you may be wondering what information to give for a bank transfer overseas.


When a bank transfer takes place outside France or the SEPA zone, it’s considered an international transfer. The bank details required for an international bank transfer differ depending on the country. To make an international transfer, you’ll usually need the same basic information as a SEPA transfer:

  • the name on your receiver’s bank account.
  • your receiver’s IBAN.
  • your receiver’s BIC (or SWIFT) code.
  • a form of government-issued ID, such as a passport or driving license.

In addition to the charges the issuing bank levies to convert a currency, the destination bank may add exchange rate fees, since the transfer will be made in a currency other than the euro.


Where to find all the information you need for a bank transfer

Ready to send or receive money by bank transfer? You can usually find your account name, IBAN and BIC/SWIFT code in the top right-hand corner of your bank statement or RIB.

If you can’t locate your IBAN, you should be able to generate it online via your bank’s internet banking service or through an IBAN calculator tool.

If you can’t find your BIC/SWIFT code, you can log in to your bank’s internet banking service or use an online BIC/SWIFT code-finder.


FAQs and guides

How do I register with Western Union to start sending money from France?

To send money to friends’ and family’s bank accounts overseas, you must first register with Western Union. It’s free to create a profile. Visit the website or download the Western Union® app to get started.

When it comes to what information to give for a bank transfer, you will need to provide some personal details such as your full name (as it appears on your official ID) and email address. You will also need to create a password and acknowledge that you’ve read our T&Cs and Privacy Policy.


How do I start sending money with Western Union?

You can send money with Western Union online, via the Western Union® app, or in person at one of more than 8,5001 agent locations around France. Depending on the way you choose to make a money transfer, you may be able to pay by card, with Apple Pay, or via a bank transfer.

To start, you will need to register or log in to your Western Union profile. You will also need to have your receiver’s details ready – including their full name and email address – as well as a form of government-issued ID such as your French passport or driving license.


How much does it cost to send money from France?

The amount it will cost to send money from France to your loved ones abroad will depend on the way you choose to transfer money and the payment method you use. You can find out current exchange rates, estimated delivery times, and details of any transfer fees2 in advance using our handy online price estimator.


1 Agent location count valid as of December 31st 2021.


2 Western Union also makes money from currency exchange. When choosing a money transmitter, carefully compare both transfer fees and exchange rates. Fees, foreign exchange rates and taxes may vary by brand, channel, and location based on a number of factors. Fees and rates subject to change without notice.