Information about opening a bank account in the Netherlands, banking services available, ATM machines, internet banking, PIN cards, credit cards and the Dutch terminology for common banking transactions…
OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT
To open a bank account in order to deposit funds and have a credit or debit card, the following documentation is required:
- Valid passport
- Proof of address (such as a utility bill)
- Some banks may also request proof of employment, BSN number and/or residency card (or proof of residence permit application)
Banks usually run a credit check and may register new foreign clients with the Central Credit Registration office (Bureau Kredietregistratie, BKR). If the account holder develops poor payment habits, it will be noted in the BKR record.
Once the account is open, a notification is sent that the bank/PIN card is available for pickup at the branch where the application was opened. Bring proof of identity. The PIN (Personal Identification Number) number is sent by post separately.
Most banks offer similar services and types of accounts including:
- Savings account (‘spaarrakening’)
- Current account (‘betaalrekening’)
A PIN (debit) card is used to withdraw money from any ATM cash machines (‘geldautomaten’ or ‘pinautomaten’) regardless if it is the same or a different bank. The car is also used to pay for goods and services in shops. Credit cards are not always accepted, especially in smaller stores and those located outside tourist areas. Checking accounts are not offered by Dutch banks, and not accepted as payment anywhere in the Netherlands.
Invoices for one-off services are paid by bank transfer. This is usually done through internet banking or via the bank’s smartphone app. Service contracts with monthly installments and utility companies will usually require payment by automatic debit (‘automatische overschrijving’). An authorization form (machtiginskaart) must be filled out by the account holder, stating that a company can take money from the account every month.
Bills can also be paid by direct debit instruction (‘acceptgiro’). A company sends an invoice with an acceptgiro, which the person signs and sends to the bank. It is necessary to fill in a payment slip with the account number and name and the account number and name of the company.
Dutch PIN/debit cards have a microchip embedded in them which allows for the payment of small transactions (for example, a parking meter) by simply holding the card against the Chipknip reader (no PIN number is required).
The credit balance on the chip needs to be manually replenished when it runs out. This limits the financial loss to the balance on the chip in the event the card is stolen or lost.
Most banks in the Netherlands are open from Monday to Friday 09:00-18:00. In larger cities, some branches may also be open on Saturday mornings.
Internet banking by computer or smartphone allows transactions to be performed online, including paying an invoice, checking on deposits and transferring money between accounts. The Netherlands has one of the highest rates of internet banking usage in the European Union.
For security reasons, Dutch personal accounts do not allow international transactions by default. This can result in a transfer request not being processed if the bank is located outside the Netherlands. To correct this, the account must first be approved for international payments. This request can be completed online and the account holder is usually given the options of making the change: a) for a single transaction, b) for a specified time frame or c) on-going. It can take up to 24 hours after the request is submitted for the permission change to be processed. Once complete, the original payment transfer will need to be re-entered.
Also for security reasons, Dutch bank cards, by default, are blocked from use in ATMs and POS terminals located outside the European Union. A request to remove the international security lock must be processed before the card can be used.
Lost/Stolen Bank PIN Cards
- ABN AMRO: Block the card via the website, smartphone app or by calling the help desk at Tel: 0900 8170 (from outside the Netherlands Tel: +31 10 241 1723)
- ING: Call Tel: +31 (0)20 228 8800
- Rabobank: Call Tel: + 31 (0)88 722 6767
Dutch Banking Terms
|automatische overschrijving||direct debit||bankrekening||bank account|
|bank saldo||account balance||bank lasten||bank charges|
|betalingskenmark||payment code||periodieke betaling||standing order|