Launched in 2014, Nickel is a bank account that does not go through a bank, but through a tobacconist. Its affordable fees combined with its very flexible access conditions explain the immense success of this alternative banking service since its creation. Having a Nickel account allows those who are far from a traditional banking establishment or who are in a situation of banking prohibition to enjoy traditional banking services, namely transfers, deposits and withdrawals of money and payments, without the credit. This article deciphers for you this service, its usefulness and how it works.
The Nickel Account, what’s this ?
The Nickel account is a bank account without a real account. In other words, it is an account that does not go through the traditional banking system. It was designed for users who cannot, do not wish to go through traditional banks or are banned from banking. They can thus benefit from an account where they can deposit or withdraw money, make or receive transfers and even domiciliate their salary via an RIB. The concept was created following a partnership between the Confederation of tobacconists and the Financial of Electronic Payments (FPE). It was then acquired by the BNP Paribas group in 2017. The brand name Compte Nickel was replaced by Nickel in 2018.
How the Nickel account works
Opening a Nickel account is done in a few minutes at a tobacconist equipped with a terminal, in a press distributor affiliated with the network or online via the Nickel application. The opening box which costs 20€ includes a bank account rechargeable by transfer or cash deposit, a registered Mastercard payment card and a bank details.
The operation of a Nickel account is identical, or almost, to a traditional bank account. It allows its holder to:
Deposit or withdraw cash
Domicile his salary
Obtain a nominative Bank Identity Statement
Make payments by direct debit or Mastercard
Manage your account via your online customer area
The creation of a Nickel account makes it possible to have a personalized Nickel Mastercard card available. Above all, this allows you to withdraw money from your Nickel account. She is said with systematic authorization, because each time you use it, you have to query the account balance. The holder cannot therefore make a withdrawal greater than his balance or greater than the limit set by daily withdrawal.
The card also allows transactions to be carried out at all merchants accepting the Mastercard network.
Apart from the card, a nominative RIB is also made available to the account holder, allowing him to fund his Nickel account by transfer or to receive transfers from his employer or social benefit bodies.
In addition, to help the account holder to better manage it, an SMS alert service, limited to 60 free SMS per year, as well as unlimited notifications by email are available.
To deposit or withdraw money from your Nickel account, all you have to do is go to an approved tobacconist or use the Mastercard card at ATMs that accept the network in more than 200 countries. It is also possible to fund your Nickel account by payment via another bank card from the customer area. Furthermore, even if customers do not have a dedicated advisor or account manager, they have access to customer service. They can contact Nickel Account customer service by phone or through their website. If you don’t know how to contact customer service, an information number can help you with that.
Difference Between Nickel Account and Classic Bank Account
What differs between a Nickel account and a traditional bank account is that it is not possible to make an overdraft for the simple reason that it is not attached to any payment or banking institution. Thereby, the account holder can only spend the money that is available in his account.
Another difference lies in the reduced cost of operations compared to the traditional banking service. The annual subscription to the Nickel account is 20€ and 50€ for a Nickel Chrome account.
This Chrome account allows you to benefit from a premium payment card as well as other additional services, such as insurance for travel abroad, against theft and online purchases. This account also offers the advantage of benefiting from a exemption on additional charges applied to operations carried out abroad.
In addition to withdrawing money from a tobacconist or by Mastercard from an ATM and depositing money from a tobacconist, which are chargeable, all other operations on your Nickel account are free.
The cost of withdrawing money from a tobacconist is 50 cents. Note that the withdrawal of cash from a tobacconist is limited to €150 per day. The cost of a withdrawal by Mastercard card in an ATM, meanwhile, is €1. The deposit of money on the Nickel account is also chargeable. This corresponds to 2% of the amount deposited.
Nickel Account Advantages and Disadvantages
One of the great advantages of having a Nickel account is that it is suitable for anyone who does not want to form a relationship with a bank. Even bank bans can open an account if they wish. What’s more, we never risk being exposed. The fact that it is not possible to exceed the account balance eliminates the temptations of credit.
The Nickel account is particularly interesting for roommates. Everyone can fund the account to pay common expenses.
It is imperative to consult the balance before making transactions. You must fund the account if necessary to make a higher withdrawal or payment. On the other hand, the Nickel account does not allow you to issue or cash checks.
Finally, there may be some lag in taking transactions into account and posting them to the account.