Basics of banking in The Netherlands



Opening a Bank Account the Netherlands 

In order to open an account in the Netherlands EU citizens require a valid passport and proof of address. Some banks may also ask for proof of work, proof of residence permit application and Sofi-number (Social Fiscal Identification number). Non-EU citizens may be asked to bring proof of registration with the foreign police in addition to the documents mentioned above.  

Most banks offer a variety of accounts, the easiest being a savings account (Spaarrekening) or current (checking) account (Betaalrekening), both of which usually give you a debit card to withdraw money from ATMs and make payments in shops and restaurants. 

Almost all banks in the Netherlands offer similar services and internet banking, so shop around before opting for a particular bank. Normal banking hours are 09:00-18:00 Monday to Friday and Saturdays 10:00-13:00 or 14:00. Some banks open late on Mondays at 10:00 or 13:00. 

The largest banks in the country include ING, ABN-AMRO, Rabobank, Postbank (now owned by ING), Fortis and SNS. 

Cheques are not widely accepted in the Netherlands, and neither are credit and debit cards. You may pay bills automatically by means of an acceptgirokaart (direct debit instruction), often shortened to acceptgiro

Credit & Debit Cards the Netherlands

Credit cards are not widely accepted in the country, and the Dutch tend to use them mainly for big purchases, internet purchases and travelling abroad. All banks offer credit cards and to apply, card applicants need sufficient income. Credit cards attract a yearly fee and possibly an additional monthly fee as well. No matter that bank you choose ensures that they give you a card that you can use internationally. Withdrawals in other EU countries are free of charge while those in non-EU countries may attract a fee of €2 or more per withdrawal. 

Most Dutch debit cards have a chip (which they call the Chipknip or Chipper) on them, as this system is actively used in the country. You can use the chip for small transactions (phones, parking meters, etc.) and do not need to key in a PIN code or sign a debit slip. All you have to do is credit your chip for the amount you want in the special Chip loaders found next to the ATMs and the amount you upload is deducted from your account. Though convenient it may result in a loss if your card is lost or stolen, so it's best not to load it up too much. 

ATM's the Netherlands 

ATMs are called geldautomaten or pinautomaten in Dutch. Every town in the Netherlands has at least a few ATMs and larger cities have many. Most ATMs in the Netherlands accept cards of all banks (only once every 24 hours) but you must check with your bank for possible charges.



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Banking Guide