Are you new in France and trying to subscribe to a contract? Chances are that you will be asked to provide your RIB. You need it all the time, but what is a RIB document in France? And how do you get yours?!
What does RIB mean?
If you subscribe to basically any type of contract or agreement in France. You will be asked to provide your RIB document. Even if payments are not automatically collected.
RIB is the abbreviation for Relevé d’Identité Bancaire. Or translated into English: bank account details.
Consider a RIB document to be the identity card for your bank account. And in France you need it all the time.
What information can you find on a RIB document?
On the RIB document you will find your IBAN (International Bank Account Number), BIC (Bank Identifier Code) and RIB.
IBAN and RIB are not the same but certainly close. The RIB contains more information than only your IBAN.
Fun fact, the numbers of your IBAN contain a lot of information which most people are not aware of.
In your IBAN you can find the code of your bank, the branch office code, bank account number and security code.
Example, let’s say your IBAN is FR20 3000 4500 5500 6066 7077 899.
On your RIB document you see that the number 30004 in your IBAN is the bank code. The number 50055 is the code of your branch office. Your bank account number is 00606670778. And 99 is the security code.
In addition to the branch office code, you will also have a separate column with more information about your branch office.
How do I get a RIB?
The easiest way to get a RIB document is by opening a bank account with a French bank.
Because this document is very commonly used in France, you will be able to download your RIB document once you are a client.
Simply log in to your banking app and you will find an option that says something like “Afficher le RIB” or “Télécharger mon RIB”.
Some foreign banks can provide you with a RIB document as well – more about this in a minute.
Are French banks any good?
As said it is best to open a bank account in France. However we must be honest with you. French banks are unfortunately not as modern as other European, UK or American banks.
Very often you will have various limitations. Such as ATM withdrawal- and bank transfer limits, despite it being a debit account.
Typically, it takes multiple days to add a new beneficiary. Even if you would like to make a simple money transfer. And online banking is not flawless.
We will soon write an article to provide you with more useful information on this topic.
A bank that we can recommend is Hello bank! because it’s an online bank and offers a completely free plan that comes with a free Visa card.
Opening an account is a relatively easy and can be done entirely in the app without having to visit an office.
Hello bank! is directly owned by BNP Paribas meaning you can use any of the BNP Paribas physical offices and ATMs.
In our opinion, a pretty good overall experience and easy way to start banking in France and get your RIB document fast.
Do foreign banks have RIB?
Unfortunately most foreign banks are not able to provide you with a RIB document because it is not common in other countries – at least not that we are aware of.
In most European countries you can simply share your IBAN and that would be enough.
We know that N26, a german online bank, can provide you with a RIB document – you can download this in their webapp and will be accepted in France.
You could of course always ask your foreign bank if they could make a RIB document for you. It might not be an option in your app but perhaps they could generate it manually for you.
If you know of any other foreign banks that support / provide a RIB document, please leave a comment to let us know!
You need a RIB document for your everyday life in France. And we highly recommend opening a bank account in France, this will make your life a lot easier here.
It is best if you can use it as your primary account. Meaning you use this account to receive your regular income and use it for your daily expenses.
Doing this will help you build a relationship with your bank and financial history in France. Making it easier to eventually apply for a mortgage, credit card or any other financial products.
French banks are however not as modern as other European, UK or American banks. Just be aware of this when opening a bank account in France. And do take your time to read the conditions!
If you need any help or have any questions about the RIB document, feel free to leave a comment and we will try to help!