What do you know about Forms of Payment?
In France, most exchanges occur via wire transfer or by a chip-and-pin card system (CB).
- Wire transfers: to send someone money, you will have to get their RIB (which stands for "Relevé d'identité bancaire" and is pronounced with the same type of "ee" in "Reef"). The RIB has all the information you need to give your bank for the wire transfer. If your bank gives you the option of sending euros without a fee, you should take that option, as the receiving bank will charge an exchange fee.
- CB (Carte Bleu or Carte Bancaire): Without a card with a chip, you can feel pretty lost in France. Many places will not take a credit card that does not have a chip. If you are coming from the US, you should ask your bank about getting a visa card with a chip. You can also get an account with Andrews Federal Credit Union and then sign up for their GlobeTrek card. This chip-and-pin visa card has no foreign transaction fees, no cash advance fees, and gives the current official exchange rates at the time of use (or rather when the transaction is processed by the institution). To sign up with Andrews Federal Credit Union follow the instructions here. You will have to sign up for a free membership with the American Consumer Council first. (This process takes a couple of days.)