The account without a bank: the complete guide

The bankless account, also known as a payment account, was launched in February 2014. Since then, this device has increasingly attracted individuals and professionals, and in particular those who are experiencing financial difficulties. This specific account works like a traditional bank account, with the difference that it does not allow you to obtain a checkbook or an authorized overdraft. Find out how it works and the price of the various services associated with it. We tell you everything about the account without a bank, including our opinion to help you choose from the existing offers.

What is a bankless account?

The bank account without bank is not a traditional current account but a deposit account accessible without condition of income to individuals and professionals. This is a service offered by a financial institution for people with low incomes or prohibited from banking (originally).

Thanks to the account without a bank, you can have a bank domiciliation and have access to various services such as the edition of RIB or the possession of a credit card. So you can receive a salary or withdraw money whenever you want.

The installation of the device is also very simple. All you have to do is go to an approved shop or complete the process online. The opening of an account without a bank is immediate or effective within 48 hours maximum.

You should know that bankless accounts have met with some success since their arrival in France in 2014. And there are more and more players on this market, offering ever more varied services. Among them, Anytime, N26, Boursorama Banque…

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How to open an account without a bank?

You have the option of opening an account without a bank at an approved tobacconist. To subscribe, you must provide him with an identity document as well as a mobile phone number.

The tobacconist then proceeds to open the account without a bank by associating a bank card with the subscriber’s file. Then, he activates this card on his electronic payment terminal.

Then you can manage your account remotely by phone or Internet. Among the possible current operations: follow-up of the balance, realization of transfer or direct debit, edition of RIB, payment…

And to fund your account, simply deposit money at the tobacconist or make transfers directly to the account.

Where can we do it?

To open an account without a bank, you must go to an approved shop (tobacconist, for example) or complete the opening formalities online, on the Internet. For this, you must have a valid identity document.

Note that opening an account without a bank is done immediately or within a relatively short time (48 hours maximum).

The rates

Opening an account without a bank at a tobacconist costs 20 euros. In addition, there are operating costs:

  • subscription of 20 euros to be paid once a year on the anniversary date of the opening of the account;
  • fees when you deposit cash in the account with the tobacconist (2% of the amount deposited);
  • fee of 0.50 euros for any cash withdrawal made from the tobacconist;
  • fee of one euro per cash withdrawal made via an ATM.

To know : the money you deposit is placed in a holding account opened with an electronic payment financing company.

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On the other hand, depending on the financial institution that offers the account without a bank, the prices vary enormously. To compare the offers and make your choice, you must take into account the fees applied to the various banking operations: price of the annual fee, cost of recharging by credit card or by transfer, cost of a transfer or setting up direct debit, cost of withdrawal from ATMs, etc.

Who can open an account without a bank?

Anyone can open an account without a bank, including students, young workers without regular income, people in a situation of over-indebtedness or banking prohibition, minors aged 12 and over (with parental authorization), foreigners domiciled in France and with a valid residence permit.

If the account without bank remains accessible to all, it is aimed more particularly at fragile people from a financial point of view. Those who do not meet the necessary criteria for obtaining a traditional current account, even if they have the right to an account, can turn to this solution. Thus, these people can easily manage their money without going through a traditional bank.

Our opinion

The bankless account is an easily accessible service for everyone, including people in a situation of over-indebtedness or registered with the Banque de France. This therefore represents an effective solution for having a current account and its associated basic services (edition of bank details to receive salaries, possession of a credit card to withdraw money, etc.).

There is also the notion of accessibility which is very important. Indeed, bankless accounts work using dedicated applications or directly on the Internet, from any digital medium. It is therefore possible to perform routine operations remotely.

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The account without a bank also makes it possible to do without an intermediary. You have basic banking services at a lower cost, without having to report to an advisor or a banker. This surely explains the growing success of this device, which convinces an ever-growing clientele.

However, the device has some limitations compared to traditional banks. For example, it is impossible to have a checkbook with an account without a bank. And the overdraft system is not allowed.

Finally, even if the system seems to have everything to please, it is necessary to take into account the existing risks. When you place money in a traditional bank account, it is placed in the Deposit Guarantee and Resolution Fund (FGDR). However, payment institutions do not adhere to the FGDR. In the context of an account without banks, the deposits are then deposited in a ring-fencing account. In other words, in the event of bankruptcy of the financial institution, their coverage by the FGDR is not necessarily acquired.

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