In the lap of Crédit Agricole, BforBank is an online bank originally cultivating a high-end philosophy and intended for a wealthy public. It has nevertheless aligned itself against the competition by offering more accessible offers while retaining its identity. It is also distinguished by its range of varied banking products and its stock market platform. But can we consider it today as a bank like the others? This is what we will try to answer in this review.
Features of BforBank
|💶 Opening bonus||Up to 80 € offered|
|📃 Income requirement||1200€/month|
|💳 Bank card||Visa/ Visa Premier|
|💸 Account maintenance fees||None|
|💲Mobile payment||Apple Pay|
|🔐 3D Secure||Yes|
BforBank in a nutshell
Created in 2009, BforBank was originally an online banking establishment intended for a rather restricted wealthy public. As a Crédit Agricole brand, it benefits from the network and personalized products of traditional banking while providing its customers with the possibility of accessing their accounts on the Internet, in addition to a dedicated stock market platform.
In recent years, BforBank has undergone a change of identity in order to meet the requirements of the ultra-competitive online banking market. It now offers its services to a more varied clientele wishing to move towards a premium online bank.
Bforbank: 3 cards, including free access
BforBank is quite classic in its pricing approach. Online banking offers three types of cards: Visa Classic, Visa Premier and Visa Infinite. The first two are accessible free of charge with income conditions, a bit like the accounts offered at a Fortuneo for example: from 1200 euros net/month for the Classic and 1600 euros net/month for the Premier card.
The Visa Infinite card is special since it is accessible for the sum of 200 euros per year, or a little less than 17 euros per month, in addition to having to justify income of at least 4000 euros net/month. The latter is therefore intended for the wealthiest who make several payment transactions and in fact offers the highest level of guarantees and insurance. For your secret code, you will have to wait for your completed file.
|Visa Classic||Visa Premier||Visa Infinite|
|Initial deposit||from 150€||from 150€||from 150€|
|Type of debit||Immediate||Immediate or deferred||Deferred|
|Income conditions||1200€ net/ month||1600€ net / month||4000€ net / month|
|Payment abroad||Free in the euro zone
1.95% outside the euro zone
|Free in the euro zone
1.95% outside the euro zone
|Free in the euro zone
1.95% outside the euro zone
|Withdrawals abroad||Free and unlimited||Free and unlimited||Free and unlimited|
|Payment cap||1200€/ month||1200€/ month||3000€/ month|
|Withdrawal limit||400€ /week||400€/week||1000€/week|
|Account opening and closing||No fees||No fees||No fees|
Open a BforBank bank account
Opening a BforBank bank account online is quite simple, but is only done via the bank’s website, so don’t expect to do everything from the application. As with its competitors, as long as you have all the necessary documents on hand, it only takes a quarter of an hour, watch in hand. However, the form is quite annoying to fill out and some questions can be a little intrusive. We also noticed that some fields were added as the filling progressed, which tends to annoy. You will need to think about your proof of identity for the file.
Point which is important: BforBank requires proof of an income level of at least 1200 euros net per month. He is even asked to provide the first two pages of his tax notice to prove it. This is what differentiates the level of treatment of the bank vis-à-vis the others.
Once these formalities have been completed and the proof of identity sent, the next step is to make a first payment of 150 euros into the account. Via bank transfer, check or cash (via Crédit Agricole branch) to validate the opening of the BforBank bank account.
In our case, the file was validated in less than a week and the bank card received in our mailbox after 15 days with its secret code. This is a rather long waiting time compared to certain neobanks, but which remains within the average of online banks on the market. Don’t forget to take advantage of your welcome offer.
Initial deposit and overdraft management
Whatever the level of subscription, BforBank asks its customers for a first payment of at least 150 euros for opening the account. This first payment necessarily underlines the premium character of the bank, people who cannot afford it therefore turn to a less selective bank.
Question authorization overdraft, BforBank is also selective. If it actually allows its customers to be debtors, they remain subject to the gaze of the bank itself. The annual interest rate on the overdraft facility is 7%. This rate increases to 16% in the event of an unauthorized overdraft or overdraft authorization. However, no intervention commission on account is charged, which is a good point in comparison to other premium banks which do not hesitate to increase the bill.
The BforBank referral offer allows customers to obtain a reward bonus when they recommend online banking to their relatives. This premium is 80 euros for the godfather and 80 euros for the godson. A lower amount than some other online banks, but still attractive. It may still happen that this premium is higher depending on the promotional periods.
BforBank insurance, offers and services
The welcome offer at BforBank
Accounts at BforBank are linked to the VISA organization. Its customers are therefore dependent on the insurance package associated with the level of card chosen. The Visa Premium card has the most comprehensive level of insurance, including comprehensive travel guarantees. In addition, BforBank puts forward a fluctuating welcome offer depending on the period.
BforBank, subsidiary of Crédit Agricole
BforBank is a subsidiary of Crédit Agricole and therefore offers additional banking products that are usually reserved for traditional banks. Customers can therefore take out a consumer loan or a mortgage, subject to acceptance and at a fixed rate. We would have liked to be able to make sure to have access to it from the application, but this is obviously not the case yet, the procedure being done only via customer support.
In addition to these products, BforBank also offers the opening of free savings accounts and also investment in the stock market via dedicated tools, a bit like a Fortuneo. This is unfortunately not a part that we have been able to exploit, but they have the merit of existing.
An online bank without a Cashback program
An element widely promoted by banks these days, BforBank does not have its own Cashback platform. Worse, the online bank does not offer any partnership with specialized platforms to obtain deferred refunds on its online purchases.
An efficient 100% online customer service
BforBank’s Customer Service is accessible via the application or the web platform 24/7. He can be reached via live chat and online ticket system or via a form. In this case, we had no problem getting our questions answered, but most often via a fairly well-designed bot, at least for simple questions. We would have liked to have a dedicated telephone line.
Unfortunately, BforBank does not offer to invest in cryptocurrencies or transfer funds from any dedicated platform like Binance. This is a very damaging point, because online banking aims to be modern in its approach and, above all, it also allows its customers to invest via a dedicated stock market platform.
Our opinion on the BforBank mobile application
The BforBank application is quite simple, even simplistic. It provides the minimum, such as displaying the expenses and entries in their bank account or savings accounts, making transfers, managing their bank card and automatically categorizing the user’s expenses. On the other hand, we regret the absence of notification of the movement of money in real time, as is the case with other banking applications. Another bad point, more practical: it is impossible to open an account directly from the application, it will necessarily go through the bank’s website.
We still appreciate the general ergonomics and the organization of the categories, with tabs located at the top and bottom to navigate the menus.
The other good points concern the support for biometric identification (fingerprint, Face ID), but also the “Bank account status“. Concretely, all you have to do is enter a threshold for the app to display the status, in the form of weather, of your bank account. This is a rather welcome gadget for those who like to check their accounts at a glance.
It is also possible to create your own budgets to categorize your expenses at will, even if, recently, the application allows you to do this automatically, but not necessarily in a more relevant way.
Last notable point of the application: if Apple Pay is present, we still note the absence of Google Pay or other third-party mobile payment services. A fairly critical point when compared to other online banks that are much better provided on this side.