Online banking: the pros and cons

Everything is going so fast that we can’t even find the time to go to the post office, to the bank, or even to go shopping, everything has to happen on the Net. Very often, contrary to what one might think, we save money managing everything on the Internet. How to choose a practical and economical online bank?

Online banking: the operation

No need to move, our interlocutor is online. Services can be accessed 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. On the other hand, to converse by telephone or online with an adviser, there are hours, even if they are very long, for example from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Friday and from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday for Boursorama bank in April 2019 .

To choose the best online bank according to your needs, you have to analyze the offers and define which physical bank this subsidiary belongs to, their popularity rating can also guide you.

  • Boursorama Bank: Societe Generale. 16 /20
  • ING Direct: Dutch bank ING. 15.60 /20
  • Fortune: Crédit Mutuel Arkéa. 15.60 /20
  • Monabanq: Credit Mutuel CIC. 15.60 /20
  • Hello Bank: BNP Paribas. 14 /20
  • Online Agency: BNP Paribas. 13.60 /20
  • Direct branch of Société Générale. 13.60 /20
  • BforBank: Agricultural credit. 12.80 /20
  • Axa Bank: Axa Assurances. 12 /20
  • Orange Bank: Orange telephony group. 10 /20

You can choose an online bank based on your affinities with the physical bank to which it belongs, but the operation is completely different.

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A single location, generally in the Paris region, to manage the accounts of all customers in France. No branch with storefront, no employees scattered in all the cities, the bank thus saves a lot of money in buildings, electricity and salaries. These savings are immediately reflected in lower fees for online banking customers.

Account maintenance costs are lower, if we compare a traditional bank with an online bank, the account management fees go from €260 to €70 on average. Some banks offer the bank card under certain conditions, but without requiring the payment of the salary on the account. More savings.

Online banking has all the services of physical banking. You can open an individual or joint account with checkbook, payment card. We have access to all transactions, such as the payment of salary, family benefits, occasional or permanent transfers, electricity, water, taxes, etc. It is also possible to take out life, property or car insurance. You can get a home loan or open a housing savings plan, popular, a booklet A … simply by completing an online application. To open an account, you must prove your identity with a CNI (National Identity Card) and proof of address. You receive your credit card in the mail a few days later.

We manage the account(s) totally online at any time of the day or night. If you have a problem, a question, you can immediately contact a person by message via chat, email, or by phone during the day, until late at night. Please check the times for each online bank. This is really a big advantage compared to traditional banks with which you have to take an appointment via a telephone platform and then travel to be able to exchange with your own bank branch advisor.

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The inconvenients

Generally, in these online banks, you rarely talk to the same customer adviser several times. It can be quite disturbing, but considering the many benefits, it’s not that important, in the end. He has quick access to our personal file and will be able to advise us or answer our questions.

For the check deposit, it must be sent by post or deposited in an agency in a specially equipped box.

If your online account has no movement for a month, you may incur charges. They can go from 3 to 5 € per month. Check the costs incurred in each online bank, when there are no or few movements on the account.

Some online banks require a minimum paid into the account each month, €1,200 or savings of €5,000, this is the case with ING Direct in April 2019.

In terms of bank charges, not everyone is in the same boat. There are several categories of people: The student, the young worker, the employee, the executive, the retiree and the standard (or smicard). For the latter, annual bank charges are offered, however, no overdraft is authorized in certain online banks, such as Boursorama Banque, Fortunéo, ING Direct and Orange Bank. For others, the fees range from €24 for Axa Banque to €105 for Agence Directe. Of course, the fees go crescendo according to the social status of the person holding the account.


These are digital banks or online banks but only accessible from a mobile application (find out more here). They come from several European countries:

  • Revolut and Monese: England
  • N26: Germany
  • Bunq: Netherlands
  • EKO (Credit Agricole) Morning (E.Leclerc) and Orange bank: France
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These neobanks are not all affiliated with a physical bank as are online banks accessible on computers. Here, there is no question of applying for a loan, a savings account or insurance, it’s a simple account, with a bank card from which you can carry out all your transactions.

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