Opening a bank account in the Netherlands


If you have queries on the Dutch banking system, here is some useful information to guide you through opening a bank account.

Opening a bank account in the Netherlands can be very advantageous. For instance, you will be able to receive your salary if you are working in the country. You may also settle your monthly utility bills, as well as your rent, by direct debit. Of course, you will have to fill in some formalities, but this should not be difficult.


Documents to be produced to open a bank account in the Netherlands are:

  • your passport
  • proof of address
  • your foreigner's registration card
  • your employment contract or your most recent payslips if you wish to open a savings account.

You will also need a BSN number which is similar to the social security number available in most European countries. Note that the BSN number is also required to complete the Sofinummer which you will have to complete on registering your lease documents with the nearest municipality to your place of residence.

Once you have completed relative procedures, you will be offered to choose among various types of bank cards. You can collect your bank card by producing your identity card or passport. Your four-digit PIN code, however, will be sent to you by post. Fees may apply according to different banks.

Bank charges and facilities

Charges applied by different banks are almost similar. Moreover, most Dutch banks offer the online banking facility which will greatly facilitate your banking transactions.

On the other hand, the Chipper concept is quite widespread in the Netherlands. This system allows you to use a Chip card rather than cash. You can use it to pay for your newspapers, bread, and even pay your timestamps without having to dial your code.

However, the Chipper is operated on a prepaid system. Hence, you will have to recharge it once your credit is over. This can be performed at recharge points near ATMs.

Credit cards and ATMs

To be eligible to a credit card in the Netherlands, you will have to produce proof of sufficient funds. Note that you will also have to pay additional monthly and annual fees. However, credit cards will allow you to make important purchases, such as buying a car, as well as online shopping. You can also use your credit card while traveling abroad.

You are also likely to find ATMs almost everywhere across the country. No additional fee is applied during withdrawals. However, you will pay an additional of a minimum of 2 euros if you use your Dutch card in a non-European Union country.


The use of checks is not widespread in the Netherlands for ecological reasons. Dutch are more likely to opt for online and electronic payment methods.

 Useful links:

BNP Paribas - Fortis

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