At automated teller machines

At the end of 2022, cash could be withdrawn at one of France’s 46,249 automated teller machines (ATMs). In France, a customer’s euro withdrawal from an ATM belonging to her or his bank network is always free of charge. However, withdrawals from an ATM belonging to a bank network other than the customer’s own may be subject to charges (find out more about bank charges - in French). In practice, the vast majority of French banks offer their customers a fixed number (two or three for example) of these withdrawals free of charge per month. Withdrawal limits are normally set out in the customer account agreement.

At bank branch counters

Cash can be withdrawn over the counter at a branch of a customer's bank network using a bank card or upon presentation of the customer’s ID and bank account details. In addition to the limits set in the terms and conditions of customer account agreements, branches may also cap withdrawals based on their cash storage capacity or for security reasons. Specifically, when a large amount is requested, the branch may require the customer to make an appointment and charge for the service.

With a bank card, at a retailer or local branch that provides cash withdrawal services

In France, cash can be withdrawn at retailers in two ways. They are set out in the French Monetary and Financial Code:

Cash can be withdrawn at a retail outlet with no obligation to make a purchase

This transaction, often referred to as “cash-in-shop”, is made from the customer’s account. Around 25,000 participating shops (26,956 in 2022) offer this service, which is only available to customers of the retail outlet's partner bank. Customers are generally made aware of the availability of the service thanks to a sign in the retailer’s window. Sometimes, customers can also make cash deposits at the retail outlet.

Banks may also set minimum and maximum withdrawal and deposit amounts. In the case of La Banque Postale, post offices and municipal postal agencies tend to provide this service.

Cash can also be withdrawn at a retail outlet when making a purchase

The desired amount is debited from the customer’s account as part of a purchase by bank card. This transaction is referred to as “cashback”. For example, when making a purchase for €20, a customer can ask that €50 be debited by bank card and the retailer gives €30 in change. In contrast to a cash-in-shop transaction, cashback is not limited to customers of one particular bank: all retailers are likely to offer this service, even if in practice it is still rarely used. Retailers offering this service must inform customers in a visible and legible manner prior to payment, and specify whether there is a charge.

The bank card purchase must be for at least €1 and the retailer can give cashback of up to €60.

The cashback withdrawal service should not be confused with loyalty programmes of the same name, which are particularly widespread in e-commerce and involve offering discount vouchers to consumers after the purchase of an item or in connection with card purchases from retailers.


The definitions for these two services provided above have been the subject of discussions between all parties concerned, and have been validated at the European level by all stakeholders (banks, national central banks, cash-in-transit companies, retail and consumer organisations, etc.).

The Banque de France closely monitors the French population’s access to cash across the entire country. The Banque de France report on public access to cash in metropolitan France published in July 2022, updating the report published in 2021, can be found here.

Updated on 9 November 2023