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Countries that Use Francs 2024

What Is the Franc?

The franc is a unity of currency, comparable to the US dollar, the pound sterling, and the rupee, which was originally issued in France in 1360 and popular throughout Europe and Africa in the 20th century. The franc was largely supplanted by the euro in Europe beginning in 1999, but is still used by many countries in Africa—though its use is not without controversy. Like the names dollar and peso, the name franc is actually given to several different currencies, including the Swiss franc and the French franc.

The origin of the name franc is unsettled. One theory posits that the word is derived from the Latin Francorum Rex, which translates to "King of the Franks" and was inscribed on the original coin (alongside an image of King John II riding a horse). Another theory suggests the term is a variation of the French word franc, which can mean either "straightforward" or "free", depending upon the context.

What Countries Use the Franc Currently?

Although many Western European countries that once used the franc have switched to the European Union's euro, 22 countries and three territories still use a unit of currency directly denominated in francs. Of the 22 countries still using the franc, 20 are located in Africa.

Countries that Currently Use the Franc:

Country/TerritoryFranc TypeISO 4217 Code$1 USD (22 Nov 2022) =
BeninWest African CFA francXOF638.66 XOF
Burkina FasoWest African CFA francXOF638.66 XOF
BurundiBurundian francBIF2,053.87 BIF
CameroonCentral African CFA francXAF638.66 XAF
Central African RepublicCentral African CFA francXAF638.66 XAF
ChadCentral African CFA francXAF638.66 XAF
ComorosComorian francKMF478.78 KMF
DjiboutiDjiboutian francDJF177.78 DJF
DR CongoCongolese francCDF2,035.30 CDF
Equatorial GuineaCentral African CFA francXAF638.66 XAF
French Polynesia*CFP francXPF116.19 XPF
GabonCentral African CFA francXAF638.66 XAF
GuineaGuinean francGNF8,603.60 GNF
Guinea-BissauWest African CFA francXOF638.66 XOF
Ivory CoastWest African CFA francXOF638.66 XOF
LiechtensteinSwiss francCHF0.95 CHF
MaliWest African CFA francXOF638.66 XOF
New Caledonia*CFP francXPF116.19 XPF
NigerWest African CFA francXOF638.66 XOF
Republic of the CongoCentral African CFA francXAF638.66 XAF
RwandaRwandan francRWF1,075.51 RWF
SenegalWest African CFA francXOF638.66 XOF
SwitzerlandSwiss francCHF0.95 CHF
TogoWest African CFA francXOF638.66 XOF
Wallis and Futuna*CFP francXPF116.19 XPF

Note: Titles marked with * are semi-autonomous French territories

African variations on the French franc

Ironically, while France itself has adopted the euro, three of its territories—French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Wallis and Futuna—still use the CFP franc, which was devised specifically for France's territories. France also created the CFA franc, which is still in use in many of its former colonies in Africa. The CFA franc exists in two interchangeable variations: the West African CFA franc (XOF), which is currently used by eight African nations, and the Central African CFA franc (XAF), currently used by six African countries. Another six African countries use their own version of the franc.

The CFP and both variations of CFA franc are all tied to the French monetary system, which has given France a questionable degree of control over the value of those countries' currency. A new currency dubbed the eco has been proposed as the new official currency for several African countries, including those presently using the West African CFA franc. However, implementation of the eco has been hampered by multiple complicating factors. The eco was originally slated to be deployed in 2003, but has been rescheduled several times. Its current planned release date is 2027.

What European Countries Use the Franc?

Although the euro has largely replaced the franc in Europe, two European countries still use the franc as their official currency: Switzerland and Liechtenstein. While the franc is undoubtedly preferred, most places in Switzerland and Liechtenstein will still accept euros (though prices may differ). Although most of Europe is quickly transitioning to the standard Euro, neither Switzerland nor Liechtenstein have announced plans to replace the franc with the euro in the future.

Countries that Formerly Used the Franc:

Country/TerritoryFranc TypeYear ReplacedCurrent CurrencyISO 4217 Code
AlgeriaAlgerian franc1964Algerian dinarDZD
AndorraFrench franc2002euroEUR
BelgiumBelgian franc2002euroEUR
FranceFrench franc2002euroEUR
LuxembourgLuxembourgish franc2002euroEUR
MadagascarMalagasy franc2005Malagasy ariaryMGA
MauritaniaCFA franc1973Mauritanian ouguiyaMRU
MonacoFrench franc & Monégasque franc2002euroEUR
MoroccoMoroccan franc1960Moroccan dirhamMAD
TunisiaTunisian franc1958Tunisian dinarTND

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The franc is a unit of currency that was used around the world at one point. There are different variations of the franc, including the Swiss franc and the French franc. Although the franc was widely used, today it has largely been replaced by the Euro in many places in Western Europe. Many former colonies of both Belgium and France continue to use some variation of the franc.

The franc got its name from the Latin inscription francorum rex, which translates to "King of the Franks," alluding to France's historical past. The franc is an easy form of money to use, with one franc divided into 100 centimes.

What Countries Use the Franc Currently?

Today, many Western European countries that once used the franc have since switched to the standardized Euro found throughout most of Europe. Currently, 22 countries and three territories use a unit of currency directly denominated in francs. Of the 22 countries using the franc, 20 are located in Africa, and the three territories are part of the French Republic. Territories currently using the franc include French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Wallis and Futuna. These territories use the CFP franc, compared to the standard CFA franc that is commonly found throughout Africa.

There are two different versions of the African franc, with 14 countries using the CFA and six African countries using their own version of the franc, which are directly tied to the French franc. The CFA franc was introduced in the African countries in 1945 and has been in circulation ever since. The CFP and the CFA franc can be interchanged with the standard franc used elsewhere.

African countries that still use the franc include Cameroon, Chad, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Comoros, Djibouti, Guinea, Rwanda, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.

What European Countries Use the Franc?

Although the Euro has largely replaced the franc, two European countries still use the franc. Both Switzerland and Liechtenstein will use the franc as their official currency. While the franc is undoubtedly preferred, most places in Switzerland and Liechtenstein will still take Euros and be happy to conduct business in this widely accepted currency. Although most of Europe is quickly transitioning to the standard Euro, both Switzerland and Liechtenstein do not have any plans to replace the franc with the Euro in the future.

Titles marked with * are semi-autonomous French territories.

Download Table Data

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Country
Franc Type
Franc Status
Current Currency
ISO 4217
Franc To1 Usd 2024/01/01
AfghanistanAfghan afghaniAFN
AlgeriaAlgerian francReplaced in 1964134.73 DZD
AndorraFrench francReplaced in 20020.91 EUR
ArgentinaArgentine pesoARS
BahrainBahraini dinarBHD
BangladeshBangladeshi takaBDT
BelgiumBelgian francReplaced in 20020.91 EUR
BeninWest African CFA francIn use600.948 XOF
BhutanBhutanese ngultrum and Indian rupeeBTN/INR
BoliviaBolivian bolivianoBOB
Burkina FasoWest African CFA francIn use600.948 XOF
BurundiBurundian francIn useBurundian francBIF2,848.06 BIF
CameroonCentral African CFA francIn use600.85 XAF
Central African RepublicCentral African CFA francIn use600.85 XAF
ChadCentral African CFA francIn use600.85 XAF
ChileChilean pesoCLP
ColombiaColombian pesoCOP
ComorosComorian francIn use450.62 KMF
Costa RicaCosta Rican colónCRC
CubaCuban pesoCUP
DjiboutiDjiboutian francIn useDjibouti francDJF177.82 DJF
Dominican RepublicDominican pesoDOP
DR CongoCongolese francIn use2,690.48 CDF
EcuadorUS dollarUSD
El SalvadorUS dollar/BitcoinUSD/BTC
Equatorial GuineaCentral African CFA francIn useCentral African CFA francXAF600.85 XAF
FranceFrench francReplaced in 20020.91 EUR
French PolynesiaCFP francIn use109.298 XPF
GabonCentral African CFA francIn use600.85 XAF
GuatemalaGuatemalan quetzalGTQ
GuineaGuinean francIn use8,602.42 GNF
Guinea BissauWest African CFA francIn useWest African CFA francXOF600.948 XOF
HondurasHonduran lempiraHNL
IndiaIndian rupeeINR
IndonesiaIndonesian rupeeIDR
IraqIraqi dinarIQD
Ivory CoastWest African CFA francIn use600.948 XOF
KenyaKenyan shillingKES
KuwaitKuwaiti dinarKWD
LiechtensteinSwiss francIn use0.853 CHF
LuxembourgLuxembourgish francReplaced in 20020.91 EUR
MadagascarMalagasy francReplaced in 20054,590.34 MGA
MaldivesMaldivian rufiyaaMVR
MaliWest African CFA francIn use600.948 XOF
MauritaniaCFA francReplaced in 197339.32 MRU
MauritiusMauritian rupeeMUR
MexicoMexican pesoMXN
MonacoFrench franc and Monégasque francReplaced in 20020.91 EUR
MoroccoMoroccan francReplaced in 19609.925 MAD
MyanmarBurmese kyatMMK
NepalNepalese rupeeNPR
New CaledoniaCFP francIn use109.298 XPF
NicaraguaNicaraguan córdobaNIO
NigerWest African CFA francIn use600.948 XOF
OmanOmani rialOMR
PakistanPakistani rupeePKR
ParaguayParaguayan guaraniPYG
PeruPeruvian solPEN
PhilippinesPhilippine pesoPHP
Puerto RicoUS dollarUSD
QatarQatari rialQAR
Republic of the CongoCentral African CFA francIn use600.85 XAF
RwandaRwandan francIn useRwandan francRWF1,259.99 RWF
SenegalWest African CFA francIn use600.948 XOF
SeychellesSeychellois rupeeSCR
SomaliaSomali shillingSOS
SpainEU euroEUR
Sri LankaSri Lankan rupeeLKR
SwitzerlandSwiss francIn use0.853 CHF
TanzaniaTanzanian shillingTZS
ThailandThai bhatTHB
Timor LesteUS dollarUSD
TogoWest African CFA francIn use600.948 XOF
TunisiaTunisian francReplaced in 19583.099 TND
UgandaUgandan shillingUGX
United Arab EmiratesEmirati dirhamAED
UruguayUruguayan pesoUYU
VenezuelaVenezuelan bolívarVEF
Wallis and FutunaCFP francIn use109.298 XPF
YemenYemeni rialYER
ZimbabweZimbabwean dollarZWD
showing: 81 rows

How many countries use Francs?

Today, 22 countries use francs, of which 20 are in Africa. Additionally, three territories also use francs.

Which countries use Francs?

In Europe, only Switzerland and Liechtenstein use francs. Some of the 20 African nations that use francs include Senegal, Togo, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Cameroon, Benin, and Burkina Faso.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources