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La Banque Postale International Transfers & Exchange Rates
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Published On:
November, 23 2022
Edited On:
March, 22 2023

La Banque Postale International Transfers & Exchange Rates

La Banque Postale is the banking subsidiary of La Poste, France’s national postal service company. It was founded in 2006 after succeeding La Poste Financial Services, a once well-established player in collecting deposits and distributing home loans with prior savings.

About La Banque Postale

La Banque Postale employs 28,154 people and has 17,000 points of contact and 7,740 post offices across the country. And it operates in three major segments: retail banking, insurance, and asset management.

Over the last decade, the bank has expanded its offerings and currently provides a full range of retail banking products and services. It also partnered with Western Union in 2020 to improve its international transfers, and in this article, we'll take a look at that service more closely.

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La Banque Postale Exchange Rates and Fees

Here’s an overview of La Banque Postale’s costs:

Transfer Fees

La Banque Postale's transfer fees are zero under the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) transfers. With Western Union-executed transfers, the fee starts at €1.90 for amounts less than €100

Additional Costs

Aside from the standard transfer fees, the recipient could get incur a bank landing fee, which La Banque Postale doesn't cover

Exchange Rate

Typically, the bank adds a 3.7% markup on the mid-market rate, especially before its tie-up with Western Union. With its Western Union transfers, the exchange rate margin can vary depending on several factors (e.g., amount, currency availability, country).

How Do La Banque Postale's Transfer Fees Compare to Using a Money Transfer Provider?

Since partnering with Western Union, La Banque Postale has enhanced its international transfer services, particularly real-time transfers. It was also able to reduce its costs through Western Union's loyalty scheme.

But despite this, the charges of the bank's international transfers are still costlier than what most other money transfer providers offer. For instance, under its Western Union post office transfers, a €4,500 sum going to Turkey could rack up a €45 fee, and that's without the exchange rate markup. Compared to companies like OFX, Currencies Direct, and TorFX, such transfer fees are nonexistent.

What’s more, the markup on the midmarket rate further inflates the cost. And the rate could be much higher in certain countries. Say you're sending euros to the Philippines and exchanging them for Philippine pesos. With that transaction, you could end up paying an extra 20% margin. You may also pay a higher rate for the type of transfer you choose, the payout method, and the amount you're sending.

The bank does have an advantage in its SEPA transfers as it opts to keep such transactions issued online for free. However, this is only available among SEPA member-states.

La Banque Postale Pros and Cons

Here are just some of the advantages and disadvantages of using La Banque Postale international transfers:


Highly Accessible: Both SEPA and Western Union online transfers are available 24/7, allowing you to make instant transfers at any time that’s convenient to you.
Extensive Coverage: Western Union transfers have expanded to more than 200 territories and countries where La Banque Postale's customers can send money to.
Fast Transfers: Transfers are immediate when selecting either Instant SEPA transfer or Western Union post office transfers.
Discounts: Western Union's loyalty program enables La Banque Postale's customers to earn points that they can use to get discounts. Each transfer earns the sender 5 points, and upon reaching 20 points, the sender is awarded a 25% discount on the next transfer and a further 50% discount if the accumulated points are at least 30.


Expensive: The exchange rate markup of Western Union can go as high as 20% and the steep transfer fees make sending money with La Banque Postale an expensive option compared to money transfer companies.
No fixed exchange rate markup: In addition to high markups, the exchange rates under Western Union transfers also don't follow a set baseline. It can vary depending on the factors mentioned earlier and is subject to change without prior notice, making actual costs entirely more unpredictable.
Low daily limits: Western Union post office transfers are limited to only €6,000 per transaction, while Western Union online transfers are only up to €5,000.

How to Open an Account and Transfer Money With La Banque Postale

Opening an account with La Banque Postale can be done online or at one of its post offices. Once your account is active, online transfers can be carried out using the bank's mobile application.

Opening an Account

Since La Banque Postale is the retail banking arm of the nation's postal service, it also offers banking as part of the same counter service. That’s why opening an account can also be initiated at one of La Poste's offices.

If you prefer a post office visit to open your account, you first need to schedule an appointment and prepare the necessary documents. These include:

  • Proof of Identity: National ID, valid passport, etc.

  • Proof of Address: Electricity bill, water bill, phone bill, internet subscription, or rent receipt issued by an official rental organization.

  • Proof of Income: Payslips, tax notice, employment certificate, or employment contract.

Once you have an appointment and have gathered all the requirements, you can proceed with your meeting with a La Banque Postale advisor for finalizing the process.

Alternatively, you can also apply onlne. You only need to fill out a form, print it, and then mail it to the bank’s address. For both methods, your bank card will arrive by post within a few days.

Transferring Money

For Western Union online transfers, you should have online banking access and have a La Banque Postale card to initiate the transaction. All you have to do is log in from your app, head over to the Western Union area and proceed with the transfer.

If you're sending money through a post office, you must present a valid ID and accomplish the Western Union form handed to you. After that, you need to pay the transaction fees and collect the receipt that contains the reference number that the recipient will need to receive the funds.

SEPA transfers can also be carried out at one of the post offices or through the La Banque Postale mobile app. You can also transfer funds by phone, but the beneficiary should be previously registered via the CERTICODE or CERTICODE PLUS service.

Additional Information

If you're transferring through Western Union at the post office, you don't need to open a bank account, and it comes at no additional charges to the recipient too. If you’re the sender, you pay all the costs upfront, including the hefty currency conversion markup. However, there could be a bank landing fee charged to the recipient with Western Union online transfers, as we stated earlier.

Another thing to note is when the recipient is collecting the transferred sum, they must present a government-issued ID and fill out another form that asks the following:

  • Name of the sender (as entered on the form)

  • The country or city where the transfer took place

  • Expected amount

  • Reference number

Customer Service Details for Users of La Banque Postale

La Banque Postale's main contact number is 3639 or +33 1 45 45 36 39 if calling outside France. Using that number, you can manage your entire bank account, but you must have the 10-digit identifier indicated on your account statement nearby, as well as the 6-digit password for logging on to the bank's website.

Also, with that number, you can connect to a customer service representative to help you navigate the bank's online services.

Can I Use La Banque Postale for International Bank Transfers?

You most certainly can. It's SEPA transfers, and Western Union online transfers are the two ways for you to do it. However, for both transactions, you must have a bank account with La Banque Postale.


Through its partnership with Western Union and its ubiquitous presence all over France, La Banque Postale offers a fast, convenient, safe, and trusted way for residents and non-residents to transfer money internationally -- but that comes with a pricy cost. Western Union's exchange rate markup and transfer fees make the bank's transfers a bit too expensive, especially with the number of low-cost alternatives available nowadays. It's only with SEPA transfers that customers can avoid some of those costs, but that option isn't available for everybody.

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April Summers
April Summers
April is a trained journalist and the Content Editor for She has 10 years experience writing about a diverse range of subjects, from financial services to arts and entertainment. When she's not writing about global remittances she can be found daydreaming about her next holiday abroad.

Key Questions About La Banque Postale

The following are key questions about La Banque Postale services:

Can I Open a La Banque Postale Account in Any Country?
Does La Banque Postale Have an App?
Are There Transfer Limits?
How Long Do Transfers Take With La Banque Postale?
What Customer Support Options Are Available?
Can I Use La Banque Postale’s Debit Card When Travelling Abroad?
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