An alternative to the classic bank account, Nickel stands out for its ease of opening in tobacconists. But, are the services offered up to par? And for what prices? Discover all the specificities of the Nickel account. We also explain to you what are the steps to open an account with a tobacconist, and to receive or send a transfer. Our opinion on this alternative payment method!
Nickel Account: What is it about ?
The Nickel account is a French alternative banking service. It is open to everyone, regardless of income. In addition, it is an alternative payment method to the traditional bank account.
This service was created in 2012 by the company Financière des Payments Electroniques (FPE). And in 2017, the international bank BNP Paribas bought 95% of the shares of the FPE. Then, in 2018, Compte Nickel changed its name to simply Nickel.
On the other hand, the authorized points of sale remain the same. To open and use your Nickel account, you have to go to a tobacconist. 4,500 tobacconists are partners in France. It should be added that this alternative banking service has more than one million customers and aims to double that in 2020.
As soon as a Nickel account is opened, the customer has a bank account statement and a MasterCard debit card. And Nickel also offers a certain number of services: transfer, direct debit, deposit and withdrawal of money from a tobacconist or an ATM, access to customer service by telephone or online, choice of payment and withdrawal limits.
On the other hand, customers have the option of managing their account online via their personal customer area. This is done on a computer or smartphone using a mobile application.
Also note that since 2018, the Nickel service has launched its new Nickel Chrome offer. For an annual cost of €30, this new card offers advantageous fees for traveling abroad as well as additional insurance and assistance.
As soon as the account is opened, the new customer obtains a bank account statement as well as a MasterCard bank card with his code. These services cost the sum of 20 euros. These are annual fees paid directly when the box is purchased from a tobacconist.
On the other hand, cash withdrawals from tobacconists generate additional costs of €0.50. And if you withdraw cash from an ATM, the fee is €1. Finally, in case of cash deposit at the tobacconist, you will be charged 2% of the amount. Find all the rates applied online
Please note: your account will be suspended in the event of non-payment of the annual subscription. You have two months to regularize the situation. After this period, the suspension is final. However, it is quite possible to reopen an account in the same name.
Open a Nickel account: how to do ?
To open a Nickel account, you have to go to a tobacconist. In this approved point of sale, you will have to register at an interactive terminal, with your identity document (national identity card, passport or residence permit). You will also need to enter your address and mobile phone number.
Know that the account becomes active immediately and the opening is done in a few minutes. As soon as your Nickel account is opened, you leave with a box including a MasterCard bank card and a bank details.
Read also: What is Nickel used for and how does it work?
Deadline for a transfer: practical information
Between two Nickel accounts
The transfer is instantaneous when the transaction is made between two Nickel accounts. However, for security reasons, if you have changed your mobile number in the last 10 days, your new beneficiary will be added to your contacts within 48 hours. You will also have to wait this time to make your transfer.
External transfer from another bank
Note that interbank transfers take longer. Your Nickel account will be credited with the amount between 24 and 48 hours. And as soon as the transfer arrives in your account, you are notified by SMS. Finally, be aware that transfers are not made on weekends or Mondays in some banks.
How to make a transfer?
SEPA zone transfer
You can make a free transfer in the SEPA zone. On the other hand, it is impossible to issue or receive a payment outside the SEPA zone.
From your Nickel customer area, go to the “Manage your transfers” section. Then click on the “Add” button in the “Make a transfer” section.
Add a beneficiary by specifying his bank details indicated on his RIB (name, IBAN code, BIC). Note that if you have already made a transfer to this person, you just need to select their name from the « Please select a beneficiary » drop-down list.
Then, indicate the amount of the transfer in euros, as well as the desired execution date. You can also specify the reason for the transfer (optional). Finally, validate your order. This will be executed almost instantly.
Note: outgoing transfers are capped at 10,000 euros. And if the amount of your transfer exceeds the balance available on your Nickel account, the operation will be automatically rejected. An SMS will inform you. And no charges will be withheld from your account.
Transfer between Nickel account by SMS
Note that you also have the option of making transfers from a Nickel to Nickel account by SMS free of charge and immediately.
Go to the Nickel application « Compte pour tous ». All you need to do is enter the mobile number of a customer with a Nickel account to transfer money to them. When the transaction is confirmed by the beneficiary, the money is automatically credited to their account.
Note: for security reasons, transfers by SMS are limited to 200 euros over 7 rolling days. And the maximum amount of a transfer by SMS cannot exceed €100 per new beneficiary. On the other hand, transfers to an already known beneficiary are unlimited, provided that your account has enough funds.
Receive a transfer: the operation
To receive a transfer to your Nickel account, the process is very simple. You simply have to communicate your identity as well as your IBAN and BIC codes of your account to the person who wishes to send you money. This information can be found on your RIB.
Please note: only SEPA transfers are accepted by Nickel. Transfers in SWIFT or urgent CRI format, also called day value transfers, will therefore be systematically refused.
Nickel Account Reviews: our conclusions
Among the advantages offered by the Nickel account is its ease of opening. This is done in 5 minutes at a tobacconist. On the other hand, money is unpaid, available and secure. As for the rates, they are advantageous compared to those practiced by traditional banking establishments. Indeed, the main day-to-day operations are free.
This financial service is aimed at a fairly varied target group. Bank bans can find an alternative to the traditional bank account. Also affected by this means of payment are people with low incomes, people in the process of divorce with a blocked joint account, seasonal workers, temporary workers, students, etc.
However, it is really an alternative method since cash deposits remain limited to €250 per transaction and €950 per month. This allows tobacconists to run less risk. On the other hand, the Nickel service does not allow you to have a bank overdraft.
Read also: Opening a bank account for a minor: what you need to know