Why is it So Hard to Send Money to France?

Managing International Wire Transfers to France

France and the US have a long-standing and productive trading relationship that spans decades. But when it comes time for many small businesses to send money to France, however, they find it challenging. As a member of the European Union, France is governed by EU legislation that can make wire transfers from the US more complex.

Veem is here to help small businesses better manage their international payments when engaging in global trade. Here are a few key items to consider when sending money to France for import goods.

Trade between the US and France

France is America’s 11th-largest trade partner. In 2016 alone, France exports to the US totaled $30.9 million worth of goods to the US — up from $30.1 million in 2015 — and imported $46.8 million worth of products and services from the US. In 2012, 5.6% of France’s exports went to the US.

Planes, helicopters, and spacecraft are France’s biggest export. These products contribute $51 billion to the French economy. But many more American small businesses purchase French exports like aircraft, beverages, chemicals, iron, machinery, pharmaceuticals, steel, transportation equipment and plastics.

France is also now one of the most attractive European countries for outsourcing business processes. French businesses secured 65 major outsourcing contracts in 2014 — up from 37 in 2013.

Why is US/France money exchange so difficult?

Small companies in the US wire funds to suppliers in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, and other cities and towns across the country. But EU-wide regulations make the money exchange process difficult, and stringent legislation overseas the transfer of funds from the US to France. The Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Package (MLD4), for example, requires small American businesses to use due diligence and complete a risk assessment when sending recurring payments of more than 250 euros to French businesses.

U.S. companies also need to provide certain pieces of information — the payer’s name, account number, address, etc. — when transferring money to France. If the sender is unaware of these regulations they can often experience delays when sending money to French bank accounts. The forthcoming Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Package (MLD5), expected to come into force soon, will further complicate matters.

Fluctuating exchange rates between the dollar and the euro — France’s official unit of currency — and a multi-link chain of banks, domestic and international clearinghouses can also both hold up and confuse the process of wiring money to France.

How to send money to France and bypass the banks

With Veem’s international payment method, transferring money to France is far easier and much more cost-effective than traditional bank wires. Veem is an end-to-end global payment platform that directly connects money senders and receivers. While bank wire transfers go through intermediate banks, racking up “third party” fees and lengthy processing times, Veem swiftly transfers funds from one country to another.

For more information about how to send money to France from the US, see:

French Ministry for the Economy and Finance

The EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive

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* This blog provides general information and discussion about global business payments and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.