|Subject: ATMs in France|
I lived in France last year and I can tell you this:
1) French ATMs use four digit PINs, just like most American ATMs. If you have a four-digit PIN for your debit card or credit card you will have no problem at any French ATM. Most French ATMs are on the Cirrus network, as are most American ATMs.
2) I was never charged a fee by a French bank; in fact, I think ATM fees are illegal in France Your home bank in the States will charge you a fee.
3) You can use your debit card in most stores in France, as well as at ATMs. But if you are in France for a short stay, use your Visa or MasterCard credit card instead for purchases. Using the credit card, you get the best exchange rate and if you lose the card, you are only liable generally for $50 in losses. Visa and MasterCard are used everywhere in France.
4) On the whole, France is at least as well wired as the States. Most Frenchmen use debit smart cards, called Carte Bleu, instead of checks.
Hope this helps.
Evan in DC