Evolution of banking services in the Netherlands

Hello everyone,

With rapid technological advancements, banking services are digitizing at lightning speed. Expats are thus propelled into a new era of options and payment methods, disrupting the traditional banking services of local establishments in the Netherlands. An evolution that presents a range of opportunities and challenges on a local scale.

Share your experiences regarding the evolution of bankings services in the Netherlands:

To what extent are the latest banking technologies being adopted and utilized in the Netherlands? (contactless payments, phone-based payment systems, QR codes, etc.)
What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Are new payment methods emerging in the Netherlands? Which ones, and what does it change in your daily life?

What are the advantages of using local bank services versus an international online banking service as an expat?

Are there specific features in banking apps that you find particularly helpful as an expat in the Netherlands?

By sharing your experiences and insights, you contribute to a broader understanding of the evolving banking landscape for expats in the Netherlands.

Thank you for your contribution.

Expat.com Team

NL is very contact-less payment friendly atleast definitely in the bigger cities/ towns. You can tap your Apple Pay/ Google Pay/ cards everywhere.  For online payments, the Dutch iDeal system with QR codes works pretty great - It is fast, seamless and clean.

As a relatively new expat (<1 yr), I own a basic account with ING but prefer to do my actual banking with bunq. I spend a bit extra on their Easy Money subscription and that gives me access to phenomenal budgeting features, high interest savings accounts, and other features. Bunq is also accepted via iDeal everywhere. Also, bank accounts are chargeable here in general.

The biggest downside to payments in NL is that Maestro cards are the preferred form of payment. You can try your Visa/ Mastercard and it might work with bigger retailers but, you still need a Maestro card  especially for your grocery shopping, even Kruidvat for e.g.. Once you get your bank card, you forget about this inconvenience reallly fast though.

I'm originally from India and I think banking services in India and the US are way more advanced when compared to the prestigious options here for e.g., you cannot set your own card PIN with ING, you cannot add your card to Google Pay. Ridiculous, really. Luckily the new wave of online banks like bunq, N26, Revolut make up for it!

Also I use Wise integrated with bunq to send money to my home country and that works very seamlessly. Transfers occur within 24 hours and you receive sufficient emails regarding the status.

IDEAL is so much more secure for buying things online than what we have back in the States. Last time I visited the States I got really annoyed by having to enter my credit card details when ordering something online.

Ideal is going to be the basis of the new EU payment standard, which is awesome.

Getting money to/from the EU is simple as well - I use Revolut (although not a Dutch bank) to send money back to the US  Funny story from last week, I had to send some money to a relative. I called my US bank and asked how long it takes to transfer $$$ and they said 2-5 business days. I was able to do a transfer from my Revolut account with less than 1% fee next business day.

When I first moved to the Netherlands, Banking was very different to what we experience today; I was given 2 chequebooks (Betal cheques and Euro cheques), both with their own specific cheque guarantee card.  You could withdraw your cash from the hole in the wall (flapper-trapper) or over the counter and that was about it - but they did know your name.  I learnt the system from my mother-in-law; she would go to the bank every Wednesday with 5 wallets in her bag, she would get cash for herself, her husband and the 3 kids, fold it neatly in half and place it in each respective wallet and it went in the top drawer of the schrank where everyone got their cash from.

Today; the system is what most of us expect in a modern banking system.  Once you get past the hurdle of opening an account, they provide all the services you can expect, from what has been reported in other responses, some do it better than others.