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Banking in France without a mobile phone is near impossible

Crédit Agricole insist on a mobile phone to receive SMS and security codes for online banking - otherwise ‘tant pis’ says reader

Mobile banking

‘If I did not have a modern mobile that could receive SMS, I could not access my account or make purchases online’ Pic: panuwat phimpha / Shutterstock

For 21 years I lived in a phone signal black spot and made do without a mobile phone. 

I could stand on a chair in my third-floor bedroom, and poke my head out the skylight, but it was not practical.

Instead I used a fixed phone and an answering machine. 

Anyone who wanted me to call back could leave a message.

Last year I moved house.

I still do not see the need for a mobile phone. 

However, to access my bank account online with Crédit Agricole it is now a necessity to have one. 

At a recent meeting with one of their staff, I was informed that if I did not have a modern mobile that could receive SMS, I could not access my account or make purchases online. 

So, we are back to the good old days, before computers, and I just need to take care that I do not accidentally overdraw.

The solution they suggested was that I ask a friend with a mobile phone to receive any banking/security codes on my behalf, and then pass them on to me.

Otherwise, tant pis

Normal French customer relations.

Contrast this with my UK bank, which several years ago sent me a little gadget into which I insert my credit card.

It then comes up with a number, which I input into my computer.

Mind you, this is after I have put in my PIN number, entered another number, which they gave me, and then entered four of the characters from my password. 

Isn’t this getting out of hand?

Donald MACEWAN, by email

Share your views - Let off steam or share a point of view on an aspect of French life

Email: letters@connexionfrance.com or write to: The Connexion, Le Grande Bretagne, 30 av. Grande Bretagne, 98000 Monaco

Please include your name and department of France or country where you live. Letters used may be edited for space and sense; the Editor’s decision is final. Letters received may be used online and/or in print.

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