How to Open a Bank Account in the Netherlands [Complete Process]

open bank account in the netherlands

Planning to move to Netherlands? Then you definitely need to open a bank account be it online or at a local branch to manage your finances and get paid.

Many people dream of living in the Netherlands, from physical and care workers looking for a decent wage to the creative class hoping for an international career, high-earning expats hoping for stable employment and business opportunities, and international students enticed by the great Dutch university system and educational offer.

The Netherlands boasts one of the happiest children on the planet, making it an appealing nest for families. Parents with children benefit from living in an area that provides excellent education and care, as well as a region where motorcycling is such an integral part of daily life.

After all, physical exertion and movement are two of the most important aspects of human health. It's also a place where people appreciate personal time and a healthy work-life balance, as well as a well-known open-minded culture.

Fortunately, the Dutch government has been investing heavily in developing and promoting other parts of the country, which means that, aside from Amsterdam, there are now a multitude of urban destinations that have the charm of the capital without the high living costs or overcrowded, expensive rental market.

It's a country that's looking to the future, interested in finding new methods for people to work and have happy lives. If you want to truly commit to the Netherlands, you'll probably need to learn the Dutch language, but fear not: most Dutch residents speak English fluently, so even if you don't master the local language, you'll be able to live independently.

So if you've decided to live in Netherlands, you'll need a bank account to ensure your finances. This guide is here to help you.

That said, in this article, I will show you how to open a bank account in Netherlands online and at a local branch as a resident, non resident (foreigner), expat and even as a student from the best banks available in the country.

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Banking System in the Netherlands

The banking system in the Netherlands is diverse, including 96 national and international banks, as well as roughly 140 small cooperative banks. De Nederlandsche Bank is the country's central bank, which, along with the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets, oversees Dutch banking services (AFM).

Types of Bank Accounts in the Netherlands

Many Dutch banks offer checking and savings accounts to their customers:

  • Checking Account: — The usual everyday option is a current account or a checking account. The majority of expats who open a bank account in the Netherlands choose a current account, which provides fast access to funds, debit/credit card alternatives, and mobile banking services in the Netherlands, among other benefits. Different current accounts, such as a basic account, a young person's account, or a student account, are typically offered by banks.
  • Savings Account: — Savings accounts in the Netherlands range from rapid access to long-term savings accounts, and can be used to save for things like vacations or retirement. Different savings products will be offered by each bank.
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Do I Need to Open a Bank Account in the Netherlands?

It is not necessary to open a bank account in the Netherlands, and it is possible to reside in the country while managing your funds through an overseas bank account. However, because this can be both complicated and costly, it makes sense to open a Dutch bank account. If you want to rent an apartment in the Netherlands or get a Dutch mortgage, you may need to open a local bank account.

What Do I Get With a Dutch Bank Account?

Most likely, you'll be looking at opening a regular checking account, also known as a betaalrekening in the Netherlands. Your Dutch bank account has an International Bank Account Number (IBAN), which allows you to transfer money freely between other SEPA accounts.

A Dutch betaalrekening includes all of the features of a standard checking account, including deposits, withdrawals, and online banking. However, it will very certainly cost you money, and not only for things like sending money overseas.

In the Netherlands, most retail banks levy a monthly "maintenance fee". That said, I recommend you choose one that offers budgeting tools, sub-accounts, and comprehensive travel insurance as part of its premium plans.

The basics should be available for free. Your Maestro card, which is the most generally accepted method of payment in the Netherlands, will be included with your account. When traveling abroad, a debit card from Mastercard or Visa may be more useful. Especially when it comes to withdrawing cash from an ATM without paying a high fee.

Whatever card you have, linking it to Apple Pay and Google Pay should be simple. Do you speak Dutch? Find a bank that speaks your language if your Dutch is still a work in progress. At the very least, English.

Even if you already have a bank account in another SEPA country, open one in the Netherlands. To apply for basic services such as health insurance and social benefits, you'll need a Dutch bank account.

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Who Is Eligible to Open a Bank Account in the Netherlands?

Even if you are not a Dutch citizen, there is no need to be concerned. You can open a bank account in the Netherlands if you're 18 or older, have a passport, and a Dutch residence. If there are any additional criteria, the bank should make them known before you begin.

Foreign nationals who live, work, study, or own a home in the Netherlands are eligible to open a Dutch bank account. Having a Dutch address is the most simple route. A utility bill is accepted by certain banks as proof of address, whereas others require an extract from the Dutch Personal Records Database (BRP).

Show your pay stubs or job contract if you're employed. Show your enrollment documents if you're a student. It's beneficial to have a BSN (burgerservicenummer) but not a make-or-break.

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What to Know Before Opening a Bank Account in the Netherlands

You should be able to withdraw cash from an overseas account using an ATM or geldautomaat before opening a bank account in the Netherlands. They give money out (in a variety of languages) and take a variety of debit and credit cards.

Major credit cards are accepted by many companies, especially larger ones. However, because the Netherlands has a firmly established debit card (pinpas) culture, smaller, local establishments – and even large grocery chains – may not accept credit cards.

Non-resident accounts are available from some Dutch banks and can be opened in advance of your move to the Netherlands. Another alternative is to talk to your bank about transferring your account before you relocate if you bank with an international bank that operates in the Netherlands.

Once you've moved in, you can evaluate the many banking possibilities in the Netherlands and decide whether to keep your present bank or open an account with a Dutch bank.

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What Documents Do I Need to Open a Bank Account in the Netherlands?

You should be able to open a bank account with just a passport and proof of residency in the Netherlands. Some banks prefer to know that you have a source of income. It's also never a bad idea to have your burgerservicenummer handy.

You'd need to have the below documents if you want to open a bank account in the Netherlands:

  • ID or passport
  • Proof of address (utility bill or rental contract)
  • BSN (burgerservicenummer) 
  • Proof of income (payslips or employment contract)

Be aware that different banks have different requirements - and will ask for different things, such as taking a photo of yourself and sending it in when opening an immediate account via mobile app.

You'll almost always be requested to bring proof of residency, which can be pretty much any bill or paper indicating your address.

Rental agreements or mortgage documents, utility bills, and bank or credit card statements issued by the bank are all options here. A birth certificate or university registration will suffice if you're a student.

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List of Banks in the Netherlands for Residents, Non Residents (Foreigners), and Students

There are many Dutch banks in the Netherlands that are ready to offer accounts for every customer some of which are:

1. ABN AMRO

Offers current and savings accounts, as well as an expat-friendly service with English-language support. Accounts can also be established prior to your arrival in the Netherlands.

There are customized accounts for international students, international private bankers, top sportspeople and celebrities, and a preferred banking status with luxury offerings for consumers with at least €200,000 to invest, in addition to mobile and digital banking choices.

2. ING

After taking over the old Post Office bank Postbank in 1991, ING became the largest retail bank in the Netherlands. It offers residents (at a cost of €1.55 per month), children, young people, students, and couples a variety of savings and current (checking) account alternatives.

There is also a mobile banking feature available in English that allows you to open an account in minutes.

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3. Rabobank

Rabobank, another large Dutch retail bank, offers three current accounts: the Direct Pakket (a standard current account for €1.55 per month), the Basis Pakket (which includes a credit card option for €2.90 per month), and the Totaal Pakket (a deluxe account with additional features for €4.80 per month).

All accounts can be accessed both online and on mobile devices. Young individuals, students, corporations, and couples can all benefit from customized packages.

4. SNS Bank

SNS Bank offers an EU Payment account in addition to a regular current account (available for €2.75 per month), children and young person's accounts, student accounts, and joint accounts. Without a Dutch citizen service number, this can be opened from anywhere in the EU

International Banks in the Netherlands

Banking with an international bank situated in the Netherlands is an alternative to opening a bank account with a Dutch bank. These are some of them:

  • Bank of America
  • BNP Paribas
  • Deutsche Bank
  • HSBC
  • NatWest
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Online/Virtual Banks in the Netherlands

Want to get all the benefits of a regular bank without leaving your house? You can also open an account with an online bank, which will allow you to access your account and other items using an app. These banks can be a suitable alternative, and some even offer no-fee bank accounts. In the Netherlands, mobile banks include:

How to Open a Bank Account in the Netherlands Online and At a Local Branch

In the Netherlands, there isn't exactly a standard procedure for opening a bank account. Each bank makes its own decisions, so opening an account can take anything from a few minutes to a few days.

The process varies amongst the "Big 3" Dutch banks, ranging from "a bit inconvenient" to "I have to take a day off work." Bank A expressly states that you must visit a branch. Bank B needs more documentation than the ordinary bank. Bank C is easygoing, online, and in English until you get to the fine print, which is in Dutch.

Traditional banking processes aren't rocket science, but they're far from simple. You should use an online bank if you want a hassle-free experience. All you have to do now is download an app, upload and validate your information, and you're done. It takes less time to figure out why the Dutch football squad wears oranje.

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How to Open a Bank Account in the Netherlands at a Local Branch

  1. Identify and print the documents required by your bank.
  2. Make an appointment and bring your documents to a local bank branch.
  3. Answer some questions and verify your identity with the clerk.
  4. Wait for your confirmation, card, PIN, and other necessary documents to arrive by post.
  5. Activate your account and online banking.

How to Open a Bank Account in the Netherlands Online

  1. See if your bank allows you to open an account online.
  2. Choose the type of account you want to open (betaalrekening).
  3. Complete application form (most banks won’t allow you to proceed without a Dutch residence).
  4. Upload copies of your documents and ID; alternatively, the bank will initiate video verification, though this option is rare for traditional banks.
  5. Wait for your confirmation, card, PIN, and other necessary documents to arrive by post.
  6. Activate your account and online banking.

Most application forms and customer service are only available in Dutch on some traditional bank websites.

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Opening a Bank Account in the Netherlands With an Online Bank (N26, Revolut, Bunq)

Banking with online banks is very convenient. There are just some few steps to follow to start banking with such banks:

  • Download the online bank's mobile app
  • Confirm your phone number or email.
  • Download your bank’s mobile app and select the type of account you want.
  • Finish the registration process.
  • Complete in-app ID verification.
  • Create a PIN and wait for your card to arrive by mail (your account is immediately active).
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Can I Open a Bank Account in the Netherlands as a Non-Resident?

As a non-resident, you are able to open a bank account in the Netherlands. In that case, several banks provide special "international" accounts. Another alternative is to employ a local financial institution with a correspondent bank or international branch in the Netherlands.

This accelerates the procedure and allows you to open an account prior to entering the country. Your local office will be there to help you every step of the way. ING and Bunq banks are presently offering special foreign accounts.

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Opening a Bank Account in the Netherlands as a Foreigner

Some Dutch banks will let you open a non-resident or international account. This allows you the ability to open and manage your account from outside the nation. Banks offer a variety of products and services, as well as distinct procedures.

Some banks only allow those who aim to migrate to the Netherlands to create accounts, while others offer more general worldwide account options (albeit these may be limited to specific regions, such as the EU/EFTA).

However, most of the major Dutch banks do not allow foreign accounts to be opened online. This means that if you can't get to a bank branch in the Netherlands, you'll have to go to one in your home country (if there is one).

You can also go to a bank that works as a correspondent bank for a Dutch bank. Other alternatives include using an overseas bank with branches in the Netherlands or opening a remote-access online or mobile account.

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Opening a Bank Account in the Netherlands as an Expat

In the Netherlands, most banks allow you to open an account either in person at a branch or online through their website. If you want to open an account at a branch, see if you have to schedule an appointment first. Monday through Friday, banks in the Netherlands are normally open from 9:00 a.m. to 17:00 p.m. On Saturdays, many of them are open half-day or full-day.

You'll need the following documents to open a bank account in the Netherlands as an expat:

  • Valid identification, plus Dutch residence permit if applicable
  • Citizen service number (BSN) which you’ll receive when you register with the tax office
  • Proof of address (a Dutch utility bill or your rental contract in the Netherlands is usually accepted)

When opening some accounts, you may be asked to provide proof of income, such as a job contract or pay stub. If you're opening a joint account, you'll need papers from both account holders.

The Central Credit Registration Office allows Dutch banks to assess the credit rating of new customers (BKR). You should receive your bank card (typically a debit card) and account details in the mail within a few days after everything has been checked and the account has been opened. Your card's four-digit PIN code is normally sent separately.

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Opening a Bank Account in the Netherlands for your Business

Most Dutch banks offer both personal and business bank accounts. They offer a variety of business accounts, ranging from startup and entrepreneur accounts to large established business accounts. A Dutch business bank account is a legal necessity if your company is registered in the Netherlands. The procedures for opening an account vary according to the type of business you run.

The procedure for opening an unincorporated business account (for example, if you're a freelance entrepreneur or sole trader) is similar to that for opening an individual account. If you have a limited liability company (BV), you must register with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. The majority of banks only open BV accounts in person with the owners/directors.

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How Long Does it Takes to Open a Dutch Bank Account in the Netherlands?

Foreigners can quickly open mobile-only accounts, from providers such as N26, by just using their mobile phones. Simply provide your cellphone number, physical address (which does not have to be in the Netherlands), and email address.

If you apply in person, some banks will grant you a Dutch bank account in as little as 30 minutes if you have all of the relevant documents. However, if you don't have a BSN and a Dutch cell phone or prepaid number, opening a Dutch bank account could take up to five working days.

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Final Thoughts on How to Open a Bank Account in the Netherlands as a Resident, Non Resident (Foreigner), Expat or Student

The Netherlands boasts one of the happiest children on the planet, making it an appealing nest for families. Parents with children benefit from living in an area that provides excellent education and care, as well as a region where motorcycling is such an integral part of daily life.

With all that in mind, the country need to make it easy to open a Dutch bank account regardless the nationality of the applicant. That said, non residents can open a Dutch bank account with Netherlands international banks and start banking in the country.

Most banks make it easy to open a business bank account in the Netherlands. However, you will need to show prove of your business to show that it is registered in the country. Enrollment documents will also be needed to open a student bank account in the Netherlands.

However, banking with online banks come with major advantages from international transfers to withdrawal costs. You can open a bank account online in the Netherlands with great digital banks such as N26 and get started financially within Europe. Also, your account will have major SEPA banking benefits.

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