Why online banks have become unavoidable

Having an account at a bank branch costs more and more. Gone are the days of free checking accounts. Since 2015, banks have generalized maintenance fees, around € 24 per year in major networks. More than 90% of these are withdrawn, according to the Observatoire des tariff bancaire. Annual dues for blue cards are also climbing. They would approach on average 65 €, according to the website Panorabanques.com

By adding all the paid services (card payments and checks, withdrawals, transfers, authorizations of levies, card subscriptions with insurance, etc.), the average cost of a bank account reaches 150 €, according to the National Consumers Association and CLCV users, and nearly € 200 according to the Best-Bank.com website.

Despite the annual summary of fees, mandatory for all customers for ten years, 26% of French people have no idea what their bank costs them, and 51% have a rough idea of the costs of their current account, according to an OpinionWay survey for Fortuneo. But 70% say they are ready to change institutions for less than 150 € savings per year, according to the same survey.

Reasonable rates from online banks

Switching to online banking saves most of the 150 to 200 € collected in branch networks. The three leaders in the French market, Boursorama, Fortuneo and ING Direct, charge almost nothing. Everything is free, transfers to withdrawals through the MasterCard credit card, provided you meet a few commitments (domiciliation of income or minimum savings, use of his credit card at least once a month, for example). All in all, banking fees would be limited to € 10.54 per year at Fortuneo and € 12.80 at Boursorama, and again, especially for active profiles, mainly because of commissions on payments and withdrawals by CB outside the euro zone.
The supply of discount banks has grown over the decades. The first Bank to be launched twenty-five years ago, Banque Directe, now Axa Banque, is no longer really an online bank and no longer has such a low tariff, since it has been linked to the network. insurers of the same name. But others have embarked on this segment.
With the Nickel Account, taken over by BNP Paribas since 2017, customers have an account with a CB in a tobacco shop for € 20 a year. On a similar principle, Carrefour Banque offers its current account C-zam, with CB, for € 5 at the opening then € 1 per month. It is also the spirit of Monabanq (2 € per month with CB Visa Classic).

Fees, a key factor in performance

Some remote banks affiliated with major networks, such as BforBank (Credit Agricole), or Hello bank! (BNP Paribas), also offer basic banking services with free CB under conditions. Finally, in the wake of Orange Bank, built by the telecoms operator since 2016 on the foundations of Groupama Banque, other “neo-buccaneers”, or “fintechs”, try their incursion on this market, like the French Eko by CA (Credit Agricole), the young Anytime sprout, or the German N26. In addition, most offer welcome gifts of up to € 80 or more to new customers, such as ING Direct, Fortuneo or Boursorama. Added reason to take the plunge!

In addition to savings on the cost of banking services, placing money through banks and online brokers also serves to reduce fees and significantly increase the profitability of its assets. Costs are a key element of performance, as the Autorité des marchés financiers regularly remind us. However, out of the € 1,700 billion placed in life insurance, management fees can be estimated at at least € 9.5 billion on euro funds and $ 7.5 billion on unit-linked assets (UC). ) , or more than 17 billion euros in fees per year.
Online, we benefit from funds in euros more profitable. First advantage, no entry fees, when banks continue to post fees on payments of up to 2%, even if they commonly reduce them to 0.5% by “commercial gesture”, to convince their customers to stay.
Secondly, the euro funds of Internet contracts generally have higher returns than most bank contracts, and much better for savers who wish to diversify their contract with UCs, ie investment funds.