Amsterdam Expats

Banking for expats in the Netherlands

The five largest banks in the Netherlands are the ABN-Amro, Rabobank, Fortis bank, Ing bank and Postbank. The Postbank has its offices together with the post offices. When you open a bank account at a bank, you will get a bankcard. At most banks it is possible to get a credit card too.

Money transactions in Dutch stores

Transactions are done most of the time by cash, Pin or Chippen. Usually, credit cards can be used in larger chain stores or hotels, but smaller stores often do not provide that service.

Withdrawing cash money from your account is easiest at an Automated Teller Machine. You will need your bankcard and the pin code you got with it. ATM's can be found all over Amsterdam. It is not necessary to use a machine provided by your bank. Machines from other banks can be used also. Note that there is a limited amount of money that can be withdrawn which is lower at other banks.

If you do not want to carry a lot of cash money, it is also possible to 'pin'. This is the name for paying with your bankcard. 'Pinnen' works almost the same as withdrawing money at an ATM. Money will be immediately deducted from your account.

Most bankcards also have a gold-coloured chip on them. This chip can be charged with an amount of money you have to specify. This can be done at a machine which you will find near an ATM. With money on your chip you can buy goods or pay for parking very fast. You do not need your 'pin code' to confirm.

'Pinnen' and 'chippen' is possible almost everywhere.

Paying bills for expats

Bills can be paid in various manners. Most used are the 'acceptgiro' and 'automatische incasso'. An acceptgiro is a partially filled in form that a company can send you by post. You have to fill in the missing data and bring it to your bank.

Euro bills

An automatische incasso or automatic collection is an easy way to standardize a payment. When you sign a contract, the company may ask you if you want to pay automatically. If you agree with that, every time that you have to pay, the company automatically debits money from your account. If the company debits too much, you can cancel the debit at your bank.

Another way to pay your bills or to send money to other people is called 'overschrijven'. This is comparable to an acceptgiro but you have to use forms you got from your bank.

Nowadays, internet banking is very popular. Almost all Dutch banks do provide internet banking. If you use internet banking, it is possible to check your account on the internet. Furthermore, you can transfer money from your account to another once or a couple of times during a period of time.