Whether you’re paying your utility bills, sending an invoice for your auto-entrepreneur business, or even just making a payment to a friend—your French bank RIB is an essential document. Here’s what you need to know about your bank RIB in France.
What is a Bank RIB in France?
RIB stands for relevé d’identité bancaire, meaning ‘statement of banking identity’, or just another way of saying bank account details. It is merely a pre-printed form with your bank account number and sort codes for national and international transactions.
Bank RIBS all look slightly different depending on the bank, but they should all include the following information:
- Banque (the name of the bank, e.g. Societe Generale or La Banque Postale)
- Titulaire de Compte (Account Holder’s Name)
- Adresse de l’Agence (Bank Address) including the Code Agence (Agency Code)
- Code Banque or Code Guichet (Bank sorting number)
- Domiciliation (your home address)
- Numéro de Compte (Bank account number)
- IBAN (l’identifiant de compte bancaire) (International Bank Account Number)
- BIC (l’identifiant de votre banque répondant à la norme internationale ISO) (Bank Identifier Code)
Where Can You Find Your French Bank RIB?
You should have several bank RIBs at the back of your chequebook, which can be torn out and handed over. Your online banking account will also have electronic forms of your RIB that you can download and send via email or text.
It’s always a good idea to have a few RIBs to hand—keep one with you in your wallet or download one (or take a high-quality photo) to your phone, so you always have it with you.
Transfers and Payments Using Your Bank RIB
The codes printed on the RIB are used whenever you need to set up electronic payments either from or to your bank account. You will also be asked for your RIB when setting up recurring payments such as your mobile phone or household utilities.
In France, whenever someone needs to pay you, whether it’s a client looking to pay their invoice or a friend that owes you money, it’s common to be asked for your RIB. In French, it’s pronounced as the English ‘rib’ (although it has nothing to do with your ribcage!) and you might hear phrases such as “envoyez-moi votre RIB s’il vous plaît” (please send me your RIB) or “un paiement par RIB” (a payment via bank transfer) to mean a ‘virement’ (bank transfer).
These days, rather than taking the time to copy out your bank details, it’s far more common to email a photo or copy of your RIB. For small businesses or self-employed workers, you might also find a RIB attached to the invoice instead of adding the payment details directly onto the invoice.
Is It Safe to Share My French Bank RIB?
It’s worth noting that while this document does contain your bank details, it’s not possible for someone to withdraw money from your account or set up standing order payments without you signing a permission form allowing them to do so. Therefore, it is generally safe to share this document with anyone that needs to pay you and it is common practice in France to do so, both for professional and personal payments.
However, there are always risks involved in sharing personal details, so it’s still advisable to be cautious and use your common sense. For example, don’t publish your RIB on your social media pages or website for the whole world to see! If using your bank RIB for internet payments (to receive money for an item sold over leboncoin, for example), trust your instincts. Many such payments are carried without any problems, but if you have any doubts, opt for a more secure transfer method such as PayPal.
Making a Payment Using a French Bank RIB
Whether you need to put down a deposit for renovations on your French property or pay a bill, making a virement (bank transfer) is often the easiest solution. In order to do this, you’ll need the bank RIB of the person you are paying.
This can be set up online and you’ll need to enter the name of the person, the name of the bank, and the IBAN, all of which you can find on the RIB.
Read our article Making a Transfer or Virement from your French Bank Account.
Cashing a Cheque in France Using Your French Bank RIB
Another time when you will need your bank RIB is when cashing a cheque into your French bank account. You’ll need to enter your account details and bank branch found on your RIB.
See our article Cashing a Cheque in France.
Setting Up Your Finances in France
Managing your finances in a foreign country can feel like a constant challenge, but FrenchEntrée is here to help! Whether you need advice on paying French taxes, taking out insurance, or managing your wealth, our handy Essential Reading guides, expert FAQs, and up-to-date news reports will answer all your questions. And if we don’t have the answers, we can connect you with our trusted financial advisors.