Banking and finance in Norway

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Updated 2021-07-20 11:39

Norway may not be the easiest country in the world to open a bank account in since aside from proof of identity, you will also have to explain why you need a bank account and what you plan on using it for. The good news? If you have the proper documentation, the procedure is very straightforward. Don’t forget to ask for a debit card because cash is not widely used in Norway, just like in all Nordic countries.

Procedures for opening a bank account

To open a bank account, the first thing you need to consider is how long you're planning on staying in the country. If you're planning to be in Norway for up to six months, then you can get a D-Number and use that to open your bank account. Your D-Number may take up to two weeks to arrive, but in some cases, the bank can order it for you while they're in the process of opening your account.

If you're staying in Norway longer than six months, however, you'll need a Norwegian National Identity Number (ID-Number). You will get your ID issued at your local tax assessment office if you are entitled to stay and work in Norway long-term ' check our article about work permits in Norway.

Good to know:

The following forms of ID are also accepted:

  • A Schengen country residence permit
  • A Norwegian bank card (if you already have an account) with an identifying photo
  • A national identity card from an EU/EEA country
  • A valid Norwegian driving licence
  • A Norwegian Ministry of Defence ID card
  • A Norway Post ID card
  • An asylum seeker Norwegian ID card

To open a bank account, in addition to an acceptable form of identification, you'll also need a passport-sized photo, proof of your address, and, in certain cases, a letter of recommendation from a bank in your home country. Of course, each bank's policies slightly vary when it comes to documentation, so it's better to check their website first and be prepared.

Credit cards in Norway

To get issued a credit card, you will have to be living in Norway for at least a year, since most banks will require seeing at least a year's tax returns, and these only become publicly available every October. It goes without saying that you'll need to have a full-time job in Norway and proof that you're paying all your household bills on time.

Online banking

Once you've opened your bank account, you will be provided with a BankID (in case you are not, you should ask for it). A BankID is your personal digital ID for all your online transactions ' and it goes so much further than just online banking. With it, you can do everything from signing documents and submissions online, registering or changing your postal address, applying for a loan, childcare services, etc. It is basically like your online passport and physical signature rolled into one.

In terms of online banking services, your BankID will allow you to view your account and make transactions and pay bills, as well as set up direct debits (AvtaleGiro) and electronic bills (eFaktura). The latter are especially important, as in Norway you will be charged a fee if you choose to receive a hardcopy of your bills by postal mail.

Useful link:

Finance Norway

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