Money Transfers to France: What do You Need to Know?

What will this guide cover?

Bonjour! Here at The Currency Shop, we know how many people travel and move between New Zealand and France. Therefore, there are number of reasons you may need to be making money transfers to France. You might have loved ones, businesses, or residences to support. It’s important then that you get as much bang for your buck as possible. However, there are never-ending choices when it comes to international money transfers, which is why we’re here. We’ve put together a guide below of all the options we think are best in terms of convenience, ease, and value.

For a quick comparison table of exchange rates and fees, click here.

This guide will cover reasons you might be sending money to France, and have a look at the options you have to do so. It will include:

  • Personal transfers – sending money to family or friends in France
  • Business transfers
  • Buying or selling a property in France
  • Studying Overseas
  • General costs of sending money to France
  • Your options to send money to France
  • Information you’ll need for the transfer
  • General information

Sending money elsewhere? You can read our article here about transferring money to Hong Kong.

Personal transfer from New Zealand to France

You can set up a personal transfer from New Zealand to France through a number of methods:

  1. Use your bank: All New Zealand banks will support the Euro (EUR), however, they will charge you a high international transfer fee, as well as an uncompetitive exchange rate.
  2. Use money transfer companies. These companies will offer you a better exchange rate and lower fees. Here are some providers that transfer money from New Zealand to France:

Our recommendation is OFX due to great value on transfers between NZD and EUR.

Business transfer from New Zealand to France

If your business is sending money to France between New Zealand and France, there are two critical things you must consider when finding the best option:

  1. The exchange rate margin: This is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate (www.xe.com) and the rate you will get.
  2. Business products they offer such as forward exchange contracts, foreign currency accounts and limit orders.

You can use any of the above listed money transfer companies if you wish. Our choice for business transfers to Indonesia are HiFX– their exchange rates and zero fee structure will allow you to maximise your overseas receipts or payments. They also offer Foreign Currency Accounts; helpful if you would like to hold the funds a foreign currency and exchange them at a favourable time.

Buying or selling property in France

If you are looking to buy a property in France, or have sold your property in France and needing to send the money back to New Zealand, we recommend that you look for a provider that has a strong presence in both countries. This will give you local support either side, as well as the flexibility you may need leading up to the settlement.

Our choice would be TorFX for property settlement transfers, as you (the customer) are assigned a local account manager that will be licensed in New Zealand and have a strong global support network to guide you when needed.

Studying overseas

As much as we would like them to, tuition fees aren’t getting any cheaper. Annual payments to universities or other education providers, along with all other expenses, can really add up, particularly abroad. As these payments can be large, you need to know the best method of payment before moving your funds.

  • For larger payments, you should be keeping an eye on the exchange rate you’re getting. This will largely affect the amount of money you will get in the foreign currency at the end.
  • For smaller payments, you should keep an eye on the transfer fees.

There are many methods of transferring funds abroad, but we would suggest HiFX as they are great for saving on those hefty costs when paying for bills.

General costs for sending money to France

Calculating the costs can be difficult, as nearly all fees, charges and exchange rates are dependent on how much are you sending, the method of sending and receiving the funds. The most common fees are as follows:

  1. A transfer fee
  2. Exchange rate margin which is the difference you pay between the wholesale exchange rate on xe.com and the rate you actually get
  3. Bank fees that your bank will charge for sending the money to the correct account overseas.
  4. Receiving bank that they will charge you for converting into the correct currency.

Your options to send money to France

There are various methods of sending money to France:

Via your bank

Using your bank is an easy and quick way to transfer fees and can normally send the money successfully within 3-5 business days depending on your bank. Generally, banks will have uncompetitive exchange rates which make them unattractive if you’re sending large amounts of money abroad.

Check with your bank and research the fees and exchange rates based on the amount you plan to send over.

Paypal

Paypal is a convenient and highly popular way of transferring money abroad. It’s also by far the quickest with transfers being completed within minutes (dependent on the type of transfer). It is great for smaller amounts (under $1000NZD) because the fees are slightly less than the banks. It’s particularly handy if you are paying from your own Paypal account directly into another Paypal account.

A money transfer company

There are an overwhelming amount of money transfer companies out there. In general, these companies are your best option when transferring larger amounts of money (anything between $1000 – $1,000,000NZD). Different companies will have various minimum and maximum amounts set, and the transfer itself will usually take around 1 business day longer than banks or Paypal.

You will need to create an account with the company before sending the money – you can do this online:

  • Register your details on the website – you will likely need I.D handy
  • Account needs to then be approved, and you’ll get your login details
  • Enter the bank details of where you are sending the money i.e. the ‘Beneficiary’ or ‘Recipient’
  • You will get a quote based on the fees and exchange rate for sending the money
  • If you are happy, confirm the details including the given rate.

Information you’ll need for the transfer

You’ll need the details of the bank account you are sending the money to i.e. the Beneficiary or Recipient details. These details will be:

  • Account name of your Recipient
  • Their address
  • SWIFT code

SWIFT codes

The Swift codes for the biggest banks in France:

BNP Paribas : BNPAFRPPXXX

Credit Agricole Group : BSUIFRPPXXX

Société générale : SOGEFRPPXXX

BPCE : BPCEFRPPXXX

General Information

There are pros and cons to every method of payment you choose. Paypal and money transfer companies like Western Union are your fastest options, with transfers being completed within minutes. However they will not offer a competitive exchange rate despite their convenience. Banks will take 1-2 business days and other money transfers companies will take roughly 2-3 business days.

Check the details of your chosen method, as all will have their own restrictions, fees and charges. Banks and Paypal will not have a minimum amount, but most money transfer companies will.

Case Study

Julie and Mark’s daughter Haley and her husband moved from New Zealand to France last year for his job. While they were happy for them, it made them anxious to be so far from them if ever they needed help.

Eventually, when Haley and her husband bought a property in France, Julie and Mark wanted to contribute towards the payments. Haley knew that her parents weren’t very clued up on how to complete transfers online, so suggested they go into their bank to discuss their options.

Although they didn’t get the best rate on their transfer, their bank was able to process the transfer with no hassle and Haley and her husband received the money within 1-2 business days of her parents paying.

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