Nickel an account for everyone ...

Le site Compte Nickel Yes… the Nickel account is not a bank account , it is a banking service . It was created by the company FPE (Financière des Paiements Electroniques) whose founders chose as a niche market to distribute means of payment to individuals, even those prohibited from banking).
Another special feature: the Nickel service can only be purchased from an approved tobacconist. The installation of a terminal at the merchant allows almost all account opening operations to be carried out automatically.
From the launch of the Nickel account in 2013, success was evident: simplified opening , low costs (20 us dollars per year), no bank teller, no overdraft , no deposit or income conditions . At the start of 2016, the FPE claimed more than 500,000 accounts opened and became a major player, with clients growing significantly above its competitors. In 2017, BNP Paribas bank took an interest in this new market and bought 95% of Nickel's shares. The account continues to grow and in mid-2018 Nickel announced that it had exceeded 900,000 accounts opened at the rate of 25,000 new customers per month! A new account was also launched in 2018, in addition to the basic version: it is now possible to subscribe to a Nickel Chrome offer for 50 us dollars per year.
Atypical among the new banking proposals, by its means of marketing at tobacconists, Nickel has exploded in number of customers.

Open a Nickel Account

To open a Nickel account, all you need to do is go buy cigarettes, or have a coffee ... at a tobacconist . Please note, not all tobacco shops are approved: in mainland France there are 3,200 points of sale, 20 in the West Indies, 3 in Guyana, 20 in St Denis de la Réunion (June 2018 count).
You must show up with an ID , your mobile phone and the sum of 20 us dollars (30 us dollars for a Nickel Chrome account). This will allow you to buy the Nickel box which contains, among other things, a non-nominative Mastercard .
At the terminal, you must complete your file and scan your ID (even if you are not good, it only takes a few minutes). With the tobacconist you validate the opening of the account, and he gives you your RIB. You can make a payment immediately (not compulsory).
Your card is then activated (you will receive your confidential code by SMS) and you can use it for your purchases.

I open a Nickel Account

Requirements to open a Nickel account

Note that certain conditions must be fulfilled in order to claim opening a Nickel account and the granting of a bank card:

  • reside in France
  • be at least 12 years old
  • have an Android or IOS smartphone, with an Internet subscription, an e-mail address and a mobile phone number
  • be French, European or hold a French residence permit.

  • You can open a Nickel account even if:
    - you are prohibited from banking (FCC)
    - you are registered with the FICP
    - you are unemployed or cannot prove your regular income
    - you are hosted free of charge.
The Nickel account does not impose a regular income for using the account and the bank card.

I open a Nickel Account

Menu Cost Condition

Nickel Account
$ 20 / year no income requirement
banking restrictions accepted

Nickel Chrome Account
(immediate debit)
$ 50 / year no income requirement
banking restrictions accepted

The bank card with the Nickel account

Simple nickel offer

The Nickel card is an international payment card backed by the Mastercard network with systematic authorization .
Account and card fees cost US $ 20 per year. .
Costs are charged for operations:

  • withdrawals from ATMs ($ 1 / transaction in France and Europe, SEPA zone - $ 2 / transaction abroad outside SEPA zone), or at tobacconists ($ 0.5).
  • purchases abroad outside the SEPA zone: $ 1 / transaction.
  • cash deposits at the tobacconist or supplying the account by credit card (in your customer area) are charged 2% of the amount of the payment.
  • printing a RIB at the tobacconist is charged € 1, free at home or by SMS.
    In short, to avoid additional costs as much as possible, all you need to do is use your bank card at merchants in Europe (SEPA zone), receive transfers to fund your account and not to make withdrawals or cash deposits.

The superior Nickel Chrome offer
The Nickel Chrome card is an international payment card backed by the Mastercard network.
To benefit from it, you must already be a customer of the basic Nickel offer.
Account and card fees cost US $ 50 per year and allow you to:

  • receive a personalized card with your name (with a choice of the visual among 4 colors)
  • do not pay any commission on your purchases abroad (outside the SEPA zone), and do not pay exchange fees.
  • to pay only € 1 for withdrawals (in France and abroad)
  • benefit from 100% useful insurance: when traveling, in the event of theft and for your purchases on the Internet.

Nickel account: the advantages

  • Possibility of depositing cash into your account (with however fees)
  • No agios because no overdraft allowed
  • If necessary, you can request your secret bank card code by Internet (1 €)
  • Free setting up of transfers and direct debits
  • You see your account history and the details of each transaction in real time.

Nickel account: the disadvantages

  • You cannot change your bank card confidential code yourself
  • You do not have the possibility of having a checkbook
  • No contactless payment (yet) with Nickel and Nickel Chrome cards

Nickel account: the services available

  • Only an account with a bank card. No opening of a savings or life insurance account possible.

Our opinion on the Nickel Account

The Nickel account has the advantage of giving the possibility, from 12 years old, to open an account and to be able to use a bank card (possible only from 16 years old in traditional banks). It also gives access to a means of payment, which is almost vital nowadays, in particular for people who are experiencing financial difficulties (banking ban), while allowing them to control their budget (no overdraft allowed). The RIB will allow them to continue to receive an income that can be paid to them.
The amount of the annual membership fee remains quite affordable. In the end, a service that could be qualified as low cost but which perfectly complements the range of current banking offers.

Summary of the Nickel Account offer
Basic services
Account opening / closing FREE
Nickel subscription / account management (bank card included) $ 20 / year
Nickel Chrome subscription / account management (bank card included) $ 50 / year
Online transfers (in $, US dollar zone) FREE
Issue of a RIB in his name (by Web or SMS) FREE
Specimens FREE
Purchases (in $, in US dollar Zone) FREE
Rebate checks IMPOSSIBLE
Call for an advisor FREE
Access to Nickel customer service online FREE
Proposed services
Bank card network
Type of bank card MasterCard
Mobile app YES
Weekday customer service hours 8:30 am-7:00pm
Saturday customer service hours 9h00-18h00
Income domiciliation obligation NO
Contactless payment (NFC) NO
Apple Pay (NFC) NO
ATM cash withdrawal (us dollar zone) $ 1 / withdrawal
Cash withdrawal at a Nickel tobacconist $ 0.5 / op
ATM cash withdrawal outside the us dollar zone $ 2 / op (Nickel)
$ 1 / op (Nickel Chrome)
Purchasing fees outside the us dollar zone $ 1 / op (Nickel)
$ 0 / op (Nickel Chrome)
Bank check NO
Cash payment at a Nickel tobacconist 2%
Funding the account by credit card from the customer area 2%
SMS account status alert YES
60 SMS / year
Account status e-mail alert FREE (unlimited)
More than one direct debit rejected in the same month $ 10 / pre-rejected
Print a RIB at a Nickel tobacconist $ 1
Customization of the credit card code NO
Return of the bank card secret code $ 1
Demonstration site NO
3DSecure ?
Visual categorization of expenses ?
Premium card (Gold) NO
Consumer credit NO
Real estate loan NO
Overdraft NO
Early renewal of bank card $ 10
Chat with an advisor NO
Possibility of opening a savings account NO
Opening of an A booklet NO
Opening of a LDD NO
stock Exchange NO
Opening a Life Insurance NO
open a Nickel Account

A loan commits you and must be repaid.
Check your repayment capacity before you commit.

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