Making payments in France

Making payments in France

If you’ve bought in France, or are renting, you are going to receive local invoices that you will need to pay.

To pay them, there are a few options available to you. There is also country-specific terminology you need to be familiar with.


RIB (Relevé d’Identité Bancaire) is a document that showsyour account number (IBAN) and details about your bank(BIC/SWIFT, address).

You should be able to find it on your online banking, if not contact your bank.

Auto Debit/Direct Debit

There are different ways to pay invoices, the most common for recurring invoices is the auto debit (prélèvement automatique).

It is often set up at the same time as the agreement (i.e. for a mobile phone contract or internet provision), but it is possible to set it up at a later date.

In order to do so, please contact the provider in order to fill in a mandate and give them your RIB.


TIP SEPA is the French way to pay invoices and often works for different utility bills.

At the bottom of the utility bill/invoice, you will find a counterfoil, cut the counterfoil and add the date, place and your signature in the blank square (on the left side of the counterfoil).

Don’t insert any additional information. Place the counterfoil together with your bank details (RIB) in the envelope sent together with the invoice.

The next time you receive aninvoice from the same provider, the bank details will show onthe counterfoil and you will only have to sign and send it back in order to approve the payment.

Bank Transfer

The most convenient way to pay invoices is via your online banking.

The beneficiary’s banking details are not always on the invoices so you may need to contact them and ask for their RIB.


Cheques are still being used as payment in France. But other options are always available.

With cheques, there is always a risk of fraud. If possible it’s always best to use an alternative means of payment, especially from private individuals.

Credit and debit card payments do not have to be made with a French card

Credit Card

Sometimes you can pay an invoice via the provider’s website or by telephone with your credit/debit card. It does not need to be a French card.

Taxe foncière & Taxe d’habitation

As a property owner in France, you will receive at least two different invoices from the Tax authorities per year.

The two invoices normally arrive during autumn current year.

• One for Taxe Foncière (tax for the owner of a propertyon January 1st current year)

• One for Taxe d’Habitation (tax for the occupant of aproperty on January 1st current year)

Set up auto debit for those invoices in order to avoid penalties. You can receive your invoices to your permanent address in another country if you inform your provider.

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