Choosing an online bank for your association

An association, even if it's non-profit, necessarily has financial flows to manage. It is therefore essential, as soon as it is set up, to open a bank account specifically for its operations. There are a number of solutions available. Online banks and neobanks are becoming increasingly popular, enabling you to open bank accounts for associations. Here's some useful information to help you make the right choice when opening your online account.

How do you choose a business account for your association?

What type of business account should I open? Traditional or online banking?

While it is compulsory for an association to open a bank account dedicated to its activity, there are generally no specific offers from banking establishments. As with micro-entrepreneurs, you can choose between a classic personal account and a business account. While the former is often less costly, it is generally ill-suited to the operation of an association. In fact, a business account is designed to handle a large number of transactions, sometimes involving substantial sums, which is not the case with a personal account opened at a conventional bank.

What are the criteria for comparing offers?

To open an account for an association, you need to compare the different offers, taking into account all the criteria that can influence the day-to-day running of the association: + account management fees + payment methods available and their cost + the cost of account statements + overdraft parameters and commissions + payment and ATM withdrawal fees + ease of management + bank advisor contact details + MAstercard cards available.

Online banks and neobanks: alternatives to consider when opening an account for your association

Online banking, a vast offer

The range of online banks has expanded considerably in recent years. Like traditional banks, each offers its own terms and conditions.

Whether it's to open a standard current account or a pro account, some banks impose income requirements. This can be problematic if your association is in its infancy, as you have no visibility on this point. Obtaining one or more Mastercard or Visa bank cards is also uncertain. Most banks offer free cards subject to conditions, either in terms of the number of monthly uses, as with Boursorama Banque or Fortuneo, or the amount of the deposit, as with ING Direct.

As for transfers, conditions are just as varied, with some professional banks charging a commission on transfers made, others a fixed amount, and others offering the fee.

Like traditional banks, online banks often have very detailed and not very transparent pricing conditions. On a day-to-day basis, this can lead to a few surprises.

Neobanks, a clear and concise offer for associations

For some years now, neobanks such as Anytime have been making their mark on the market for banking services for associations. Perfectly accessible to both small and large associations, these neo-banks offer a straightforward package, with pricing terms on a single page. Professional accounts for associations can be managed 100% remotely, via the web or a dedicated mobile application.

These new-style banks offer associations a complete package at a fixed monthly rate. So there are no surprises: everything is included, except for additional options such as a payment terminal for accepting donations by credit card. In many cases, you'll need to compare their offers with a business account.

On the other hand, as neobanks are payment institutions and not credit institutions, they do not distribute investment solutions or loans. Similarly, overdrafts are not possible, which means that the association's cash flow needs to be anticipated.

Consult the Neobanques Pro comparator for associations

The chequebook, a parameter not to be neglected for an association

Payment and collection by cheque

For associations, the checkbook remains a widely used means of payment. In particular, they can be used to reimburse expenses incurred by volunteers or to pay for day-to-day purchases. On the other hand, membership fees and donations are generally paid by cheque.

When choosing an online bank dedicated to associations, you need to check whether you can obtain a cheque book and cash cheques.

Note that to pay recurring expenses such as salaries or subscriptions, it's quick and easy to make a transfer from an online bank's mobile application. Setting up a remote bank card payment method can also be an attractive way of simplifying the collection of donations and membership fees. This avoids the time-consuming accumulation of cheques and cash.

    Hello bank! Monabanq Boursorama Fortuneo ING Direct Anytime Qonto
Terms of collection Deposit at a counter or ATM in the BNP Paribas network By post Deposit at a CIC network ATM By post By post with cheque remittance slip By post with cheque deposit slip + pre-filled envelopes By post with cheque remittance slip 4/month with premium offer. By post Not available  
Cost of sending chequebook to home address Free Free Free Free Cost of postage No checkbook possible No checkbook possible  

Delegation of signature

A cheque book allows several delegations of signature, unlike a bank card, which can only be used by name. Although the association's name is printed on the card, in principle only the duly designated person can use it. This person is also responsible for the card.

Generally speaking, the president of the association holds the signing authority. However, the delegation of these powers may be specified in the association's articles of association, or may be made directly to the bank. The bank does not restrict the actions of the representatives or delegates appointed in this way. Nevertheless, in the event of abuse or misconduct, the volunteer or employee in question may be held liable.

However, care must be taken to limit delegations of signature to avoid abuse. The legal representative's duties include supervising and monitoring the association's banking operations.

To limit delegations, he can specify to the professional bank: + a time limit on his periods of absence + the nature of delegated operations (for example, day-to-day banking operations but not loans) + payment ceilings for the delegatee.

Selecting the right online bank for your association will save you money on bank charges. It also simplifies the day-to-day running of your association. With the Anytime all-in-one offer, your association can benefit from professional services at very reasonable rates

These articles may be of interest to you