After a test phase over several months, Revolut is rolling out French IBANs to its entire customer base in France. With this decision, the neo-bank is positioning itself even more as a legitimate alternative to traditional banks.
Since 2014, issuers of transfers (and direct debits) must accept the IBAN numbers of all accounts held in any European country, and not just those opened in France. In other words, your employer does not have the right to refuse to pay you a salary on a European IBAN. Another example: an electricity supplier is not authorized to refuse a direct debit from a bank account in the SEPA zone.
Unfortunately, providers do not seem to care about this European law – and France is even the worst student on the continent. If fintechs like N26, Revolut or Wise have pooled their forces to assert the rights of Europeans, behaviors have hardly changed.
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Faced with this observation, some neo-banks have finally decided to adapt to local requirements. This is the case of Revolut, which has just introduced French IBANs into its offer. While its French users have so far benefited from a Lithuanian IBAN (starting with LT), they will now have more traditional – and less discriminating – bank details.
Subject to accepting the new general conditions, the approximately 2 million users of the service in France will now be able to have a Revolut IBAN similar to that of a French bank. The British neo-bank specifies that its users will receive an invitation to join its French subsidiary in the coming days to change contact details.
In its press release, the neo-bank also specifies “customers will only have access to one IBAN, French, but their Lithuanian IBAN will still be active for 30 days after the migration, in order to ensure a smooth transition to our French subsidiary”. Once the change has been made, they will no longer have to worry about depositing their salary in the Revolut account, opening a telephone line with an operator or scheduling direct debits.
Vincent Péron, France manager of Revolut, regrets that his “customers in France are regularly victims of unfair discrimination from service providers because of their foreign bank details”, although such behavior is illegal.
By opening up to French IBANs, Revolut is taking a big step forward. This measure could well allow it to attack a larger target disappointed by traditional banking establishments. Since it won its European banking license, the neo-bank no longer hides its plan to compete with traditional banks via a wider range of products.