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The purpose of this comparison is not only to identify which is the best online bank. Instead, it allows you to determine which one is suitable for your profile and the type of banking services you use.

It has been noted that the French population is turning away from traditional banks more easily to join the services offered online. As such, during the year 2020, online banks recorded a 33% usage rate. This comparison of online banks allows us to have a visibility on the players involved.

Ranking of the best online banks

  • Boursorama
  • Hello bank
  • Mona bank
  • B for bank
  • Orange bank
  • ING

Table of contents

Boursorama

Boursorama Banque has been part of the Société Générale group since 2014. It is one of the leading online banks available in France with 2.5 million members to its credit. In addition, it is presented in this comparison as the the most economical and efficient online bank of 2021. Indeed, it has proposed competitive solutions and adapted to each profile.

Open a bank account at Boursorama offers multiple privileges starting with the provision of an IBAN of French status. Also, there are no fees related to the maintenance of said account and the categories of credit cards. These include Welcome, Ultim, Classic and Premier.

However, the holding of these cards implies the respect of some conditions related to income or to the mandatory payment of initial funds. These are not the only benefits of this formula since withdrawals and payments made abroad are also free.

For account management, a dedicated application is available on Android and iOS. It is presented as a WebApp. However, this solution is not very ergonomic compared to the competition, but remains very simple to use. From its start page, it allows the subscriber to have an overview of his or her funds and charges.

It offers the possibility ofto make a transfer or a sending by RIB. Boursorama also has some very convenient parameters. In particular the fact of benefiting from the support of Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Open an account with Boursorama

Strong points

  • Free account opening
  • Secure and complete application form

Weaknesses

  • Account activation time between 2 to 3 weeks
  • Slow account validation process.

Hello bank

Subsidiary of BNP Paribas, Hello relies in particular on the physical branches of this network to facilitate the deposit of checks and spaces for its customers. This simplicity proves to be quite rare in the field of online banking. Moreover, it has many advantages.

To begin with, this online bank is the only one in this comparison that applies low fees when the user manages his account himself. Indeed, the user can use his mobile application instead of calling an advisor for the proper functioning of his account.Moreover, this application has been very well thought out. Its use remains intuitive and simple.

Hello Bank has recently added two new offers to its catalog Hello One and Prime. The latter are similar to the neo-banks and offer a free card with no income requirement. In addition, they allow free payment of transactions from abroad or display them from a smartphone in real time.

Hello One is presented in the form of a fully secured account with no strings attached. Subscribe to this formula allows you to have both a card and the necessary tools for daily use of your bank. Hello Prime is reserved for premium members with more than 1,000 euros net and will have to pay 5 euros in fees per month. It comes with a card with the same characteristics as a Visa Premier.

Note that for the moment, Hello Bank does not have a solution for investing in cryptocurrencies.

Open an account with Hello Bank

Highlights

  • Leverages the BNP Paribas network
  • User-friendly and easy-to-use application

Weaknesses

  • Long time to create account and issue card
  • No ability to manage cryptocurrencies.

Monabanq

Monabanq is part of the Crédit Mutuel group with several hundred thousand subscribers. This one is accessible even to those who do not have regular resources. On the other hand, the latter mustpay a subscription fee of 2 euros per month depending on certain services.

In April 2020, this online bank renewed its range of services. In particular the Pratiq and Pratiq+ accounts as well as the Uniq and Uniq+ packages. The first two packages are geared towards day-to-day banking operations, while the Uniq and Uniq+ packages are aimed at travelers. One of the main features of these packages is the elimination of withdrawal and payment fees.

Monabanq is listed in this comparison as the online bank the most appreciated by the French, because of its transparency and flexibility. Indeed, for subscribe to one of its offersNo need to prove the amount of income. It requires its subscribers to pay a fee of between 2 and 9 euros per month to hold this account.

It is also possible to obtain the Visa Premier card, without having to prove your income. This card costs 3 euros per month. The rates charged by this bank are transparent, so there is no risk of being surprised. Note that Monabanq has also opened the CIC branches to authorize cash and check deposits.

As for its application, it proves to be complete while offering very practical functions.

Open an account with Monabanq

Strong points

  • No income requirement
  • Many value-added and savings products

Weaknesses

  • Paying bank
  • High management fees for foreign countries

BforBank

BforBank was initially focused on a high-end clientele. This online bank was launched by Crédit Agricole, the most cautious organization in relation to cryptocurrency investments. BforBank aims to democratize its services and registers about 230 000 subscribers.

Opening an account with BforBank is a simple procedure. BforBank has taken the necessary steps to make the daily life of new customers easier. It only takes a few dozen minutes to register. It starts with the completion of a form available entirely online.

BforBank also provides its customers with free access to two bank cards. In particular the Visa Classic of 1200 euros and the Visa Premier of 1600 euros. The latter is part of the most affordable Gold range of online banking institutions. In this comparison, BforBank is the only online bank to offer its customers an Infinite bank card.

This is a real money saver compared to traditional banking institutions that offer higher income benefits. It often gives a premium for accessing certain services such as life insurance, savings books or stock market shares.

Due to its position as a branch of the large French banking institution, it has also gained the trust of its customers. Open an account with BforBankis to hand over the management of your funds to good hands with great know-how and excellent financial stability.

Open an account with B for Bank

Highlights

  • A bank account accessible quickly and efficiently online
  • A full range of financial services

Weaknesses

  • Requirement to prove a net income of 1200 euros per month
  • Apple Pay is the only mobile payment method available

Orange Bank

Orange Bank appeared in 2017 in the world of online banking in France. It has managed, in 5 years, to carve out a place and a reputation within the cenacle of dematerialized banking institutions.

One of the advantages to opening a current account with Orange Bank is based on the standardization of tariffs. An account with a Premium card costs only 4.99 euros per month for the first 6 months and 7.99 euros per month thereafter.

Open an account with Orange Bank

In addition, Orange Bank provides services comparable to its competitors. Namely, free account management, free withdrawals and payments in the euro zone, and real-time display of transactions. Above all, Orange Bank stands out in this comparison by significant advantages that are rather rare in the online banking world. Notably the credit to individuals, the 0.3% interest rate passbook or the possibility to have a checkbook.

For their part, traditional bank branches tend to charge heavily for their bank cards attached to their accounts. However, with the Orange Premium MasterCard and all the associated services, Orange Bank charged 4, 99 euros monthly.

Buy this black silver card offers all the payment facilities and assurances expected from a Premium card. In addition, Orange Bank has created a new and very complete application. It is accessible via a smartphone after identification by Face ID, fingerprint.

Subscribe to the Orange Bank Premium card

Highlights

  • Total accessibility to all
  • The best choice in banking services less

Weaknesses

  • The card becomes payable in case of inactivity
  • No joint account.

ING

ING was launched in France in 2000. This online bank is one of the best known in this comparison. It belongs to the ING Group, the second largest savings institution in the world. Over the years, it has actually managed to attract almost one million users. And this number is still growing.

Over time, ING has introduced a range of banking solutions. In 2004, it offered life insurance and then in 2009, it developed a current account. In 2015, it introduced a mortgage loan. ING presents diverse characteristics by offering a perfect symbiosis between a range of services aimed at a demanding clientele. Notably in terms of its banking offer.

Open an account at ING is done quickly and allows you to have two cards. In fact, the first one is totally free and does not require any income guarantee. As for the second, it is a Mastercard Gold card available as soon as the income reaches 1,200 euros, otherwise the fees are 5 euros per month. ING charges a normal bank fee, comparable to other online banks, which can be easily avoided.

In addition, the mobile version of its application has undergone a real update. From now on, it becomes a very pleasant working tool. Indeed, its operation remains fluid.

Open an account at ING

Highlights

  • Free client account maintenance
  • No salary threshold to access the Essential plan

Weaknesses

  • Apple Pay is the only compatible application
  • High costs on international withdrawals

The advantages of online banking versus neo-banking

The online bank has a banking license meaning that its operation is exactly like that of a real bank. As a result, it can offer all the services of a traditional bank, such as credit, insurance and savings. On the other hand, the neo-bank is limited to payment processing. In other words, it only manages current accounts. Discover the advantages of online banking compared to neo-banks.

Benefit from a more extensive service

By choosing online banking, the consumer benefits from more extensive services. This is because the latter controls all banking activities. However, the neo-bank offers only limited services. The latter may even require a small additional fee compared to an online bank.

The fees

Compared to the neo-banks, the online bank has more advantageous rates. In addition, it is able to offer comprehensive services as a welcome gift. In fact, it is common for customers to be given 80 euros when they join. This bonus can reach 130 euros or 160 euros according to the promotions.

As far as account fees with the neo-bank are concerned, they are higher. Various operations may be charged, including foreign currency direct debits and transfers made outside SEPA.

Data protection

While an online bank provides secure access for its customers when connecting to a computer, the trend among neo-banks is to mobile solutions. Some of them, like Revolut, do not even allow access via a PC. As a result, customers are forced to equip themselves with the latest generation of smartphones in order to fully exploit the services offered. This explains the fact that neo-banks are aimed in particular at young people, whereas online banks have a wider customer base.

FAQ about online banks

What bank cards do online banks offer?

Just like traditional banks, online banks provide their customers with MasterCard or Visa cards. The latter are in principle free of charge, provided that certain conditions are met. Including monthly income, capital to be invested, daily use of the bank card.

Standard card

Most “standard” or “classic” cards allow you to pay for purchases on the Internet or in stores. In addition, it facilitates payments in France or abroad.

High-end bank cards

The Gold Mastercard or Visa Premier offer higher payment and withdrawal possibilities. In case of travel, they provide access to assistance and various protections.

Premium cards

Compared to other types of premium bank cards, premium cards provide more extensive coverage. These cardholders also benefit from a 24/7 concierge.

Which online bank to choose?

Each customer has his or her own needs. To evaluate the best solution, you need to take into account different elements. First, of course, you need to look at its fee schedule. In general, most establishments offer customers an account with a “basic” card at no charge. This comparison of the cheapest bank allows you to quickly get an idea of the rates of the different organizations.

Next, you should pay special attention to the range of available products. Those who travel abroad very frequently should also carry a bank card appropriate to their situation.

How do I get help managing money, savings or investments?

In addition to the many services offered, customer service must live up to expectations. Indeed, it can be composed of experts and be available at longer hours than in a traditional bank. They are able to help by phone, e-mail or chat.

The real advantages of online banking offers?

Online banking has several advantages over traditional or neo-banking. This includes the ease of managing current accounts thanks to innovative mobile tools. In addition, it allows savings on bank card fees.

What does the online banking landscape look like today?

In this comparison, six major online banks are observed: Boursorama, hello bank, monabanq, B for bank, Orange bank and ING. They are attracting more and more users. Indeed, about 5 out of 10 French people, i.e. nearly 47% would be ready to adopt an online bank because of their financial motivation. Once seen as a complement to an institution, it is becoming a bank in its own right.

Are online banks the right solution to pay less for your banking service?

Most banks provide combined banking services for a fixed amount. This price is often less than the total amount charged for different products.

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