La Banque Postale created Ma French Bank (MFB) with the aim of appealing to a younger public and attracting those most reluctant to the banking world. Based on a 100% online ecosystem similar to neobanks, it promises an innovative banking complement in addition to traditional establishments. Despite its youth, the concept has already attracted hundreds of thousands of customers in France and has much more ambitions in the years to come. But can MFB compete with behemoths in its class? Answer in this review.
Characteristics of My French Bank
|💶 Opening Bonus||20€ offered for opening an account|
|📃 Income requirement||None|
|💳 Bank card||VISA|
|💰 Initial deposit||50 €|
|💸 Account maintenance fees||2 €/month|
|💲 Mobile payment||Apple Pay / Samsung Pay|
|🔐 3D Secure||Yes|
My French Bank in a nutshell
Created in the course of 2019 by La Banque Postale, Ma French Banque was designed as a French alternative to the most popular neobanks such as N26 or Revolut. With its 10 million customers in France, the group aims with MFB to reach a younger audience, often disconnected from the banking world, with a simple, economical and digitally-oriented offer. Today, Ma French Bank has nearly 500,000 customers in France and is aiming for one million by 2025.
Very competitive rates, even for a neobank
My French Bank is not a free bank even if the entry fee is very low: 2.90 euros per month. Inevitably, with such a price, you should not expect an overdraft authorization, payments are systematically refused in the event of a lack of funds. Even if traditional use is free (withdrawal, SEPA transfer, etc.), beware of payment incidents. A direct debit rejection, for example, costs 20 euros per transaction.
We especially appreciate the fact that the bank does not charge any fees on payments and withdrawals abroad, regardless of the account chosen, even outside the euro zone, which is rare enough to be underlined. It is also possible to open an account without any income guarantee. It is therefore a very practical option for opening a secondary account intended for this type of use.
Clearly, for such a positioning, MFB wants to be ahead of the French market, by offering prices very close to, or even better than, those of N26 or Revolut, especially for the services offered. Here are the detailed prices:
|Ideal Account||Original Account||WeStart (12-17 years old)|
|Type of debit||immediate or deferred||immediate or deferred||immediate or deferred|
|Payment abroad||Free and unlimited||Free and unlimited||Free and unlimited|
|Withdrawals abroad||Free and unlimited||Free and unlimited||Free and unlimited|
|Payment cap||5000€ over 1 month||3000€ over 1 month||500€ over 1 month|
|Withdrawal limit||1000€ over 1 week||1000€ over 1 week||500€ over one week|
|Account opening and closing||No fees||No fees||No fees|
How to fund your account: check, transfer, cash?
An account with Ma French Bank is first opened as a secondary account, except for the WeStart offer intended for 12-17 year olds. This means that it must be funded from an external account, preferably the most regular. It’s also pretty good since MFB does not claim to become an exclusive banking solution, but rather a subsidiary account. Via an external account with the same name as the MFB account, you can make regular credits (subject to a limit of 1 per day maximum). The bank transfer – one-time or regular – is also another way to fund your account. On the other hand, the big black point, apart from the first payment in the agency (possible at La Banque Postale), it is impossible to supply your account with cash or by check afterwards. This is clearly a handicap since to do this you have to go through another current account and then make a transfer from it.
Open an account with Ma French Bank
Like a neobank, MFB offers the opening of an account from the application but everything goes through a browser link and not from a process provided in the application. That said, the creation of the account is rather fast and, in a few minutes, after having provided the documents of use and filled in the usual information, the account is opened. However, its final activation requires a few additional days, the time to receive the code by mail at your home. However, the opening of an account is done in two ways, either online or by going to the counter of a Postal Bank. The fastest is to go through a physical agency since only an identity document is enough to leave with a bank card and an open account.
If your file is validated, you will receive an opening email asking you to pay 50 euros by bank transfer. Once the amount has been paid, you will receive a final email indicating that your card will be sent to you. Allow 7 to 15 days to the mailbox. Temporary identifiers will be sent to you by SMS, which you will need to use when synchronizing with the application on your smartphone.
The information requested during online registration is common to all French neobanks. This therefore includes a valid proof of identity (identity document, passport or residence permit), a second proof of identity (vital card, driving licence, student card, etc.) and a bank details in your name. a French or EU bank.
Initial deposit and overdraft management
Ma French Bank requires an initial deposit of 50 euros to open an account. It is possible to transfer this money from another current account opened in his name. Too bad on this point, because other neobanks do not require an initial deposit.
It is impossible for an MFB account to end up in negative, and therefore overdrawn. However, if you attempt to complete a payment transaction without having sufficient funds in your account, it will be declined.
MFB does not usually offer welcome bonuses. But it is not uncommon for the French neobank to apply certain temporary operations such as months of contribution as a gift. The bank prefers to bet on its very inexpensive offer to obtain the acquisition.
It’s rare enough to be underlined, but MFB does not offer a referral system. It’s all the more unfortunate when you know how much the bank relies on word of mouth to communicate. We note, however, that the evolution of offers and special operations is done quite regularly and it is not impossible that the neobank is inspired by what the N26 and other Revolut offer to integrate a similar sponsorship system.
Ma French Bank insurance, offers and services
MFB accounts are linked to the VISA organization. Whatever the account, a client benefits from the organization’s insurance, in particular concerning travel. We therefore rely on free medical repatriation in the event of an accident abroad or reimbursement of glasses in the event of loss or breakage.
Recently, MFB offers the subscription to a consumer credit. “My Extra Loan”, from its name, it is a revolving credit allowing to borrow small sums for heavy purchases or repayments. Its advantage is that it is personalized according to the client’s situation via the intervention of a bank advisor. MFB is a partner of Younited Credit for the implementation of this loan. There is no need to remind you that this is a service to be used with moderation.
Cashback, but exclusive to the most expensive account
Finally, MFB aligns itself with almost all the other neobanks on the market and offers a system of cash back House. The bank has partnered with a few dozen brands of all types to offer refunds on purchases. This service is only available to holders of an ideal account (€6.90/month). The advantage is that there is nothing to do, it is activated by default, no need for additional registration.
Customer service still lagging behind
Ma French Bank Customer Service is first available by telephone. It is the preferred means of contact and the most put forward by the bank which puts as its main argument the possibility of conversing with a real adviser on the phone. Having tested the service at two different times of the day, it is responsive to say the least and it only took a short wait – less than a minute – before I could speak to someone. . Customer service can also be reached on the application via a chat system. The latter is less effective since it relies on a robot with predefined answers that takes us to an advisor if the answer is not satisfactory. Finally, MFB is also very active on social networks even if you will never be advised this option to obtain information on your account. Nothing beats a bank advisor for answering questions about your bank account.
Once again, unlike the most popular neobanks, Ma French Bank has no support for cryptocurrencies, not even the possibility of transferring funds from dedicated platforms. Logically, the bank being oriented for a young public, it is not in its plans to encourage its customers in risky investment.
Our opinion on the Ma French Bank mobile application
Available on iOS and Android, the Ma French Bank application aims to be simple (even simplistic) with mainly an overall view of your account from the main screen. Its big advantage is that it allows you to view the entire history of its operations live, when many online banks give a 24-hour period to display background movements. Visually, the organization of categories and tabs is also very well thought out with separation via color code and fairly large font menus. In this way, we have the impression that everything is done to simplify navigation. We also appreciate the presence of some very practical features such as transfers by SMS or the possibility of creating personalized pots with a very practical dedicated visual.
On the security side, it is possible to suspend your account at any time with a simple gesture in the event of theft or loss of the card, for example. The same goes for unlocking everything.
Unfortunately, the application is not as complete as what the competition can offer, especially in terms of security. Biometric authentication is not available, so you have to type your six-digit code each time to access your account information.
Overall, MFB offers a clean app, but one that really lacks features and customization options. We would have liked for example to be able to find post offices via map + GPS or the possibility of creating virtual cards for purchases on the internet.
The only mobile payment systems taken into account are Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. We were therefore unable to test via Android device.