How to open a bank account in the Netherlands

How to open a bank account in the Netherlands

Living in a Netherlands is a rich cultural experience that many expats have chosen thanks to its economic and political importance. Most expats choose one of the major metropolitan zones in the country which have an ever growing need for labour. The dutch have chosen to live in largely cashless society and therefore having a bank account is an important step to take if you want to enjoy the land on your bicycle.

Here is a quick guide on how to open a bank account in the Netherlands and get started with your financial life over there.

Documents needed to open a bank account in the Netherlands

In order to open a bank account in the Netherlands, you will need to either to visit a branch or use the internet. In any case, you will need to following documentation:

  • ID card which can be a passport or national ID card. Depending on country, a driver's license will not be accepted
  • Proof of address: a signed rental contract of recent utility bill
  • A BSN, short for burgerservicenummer. Every resident gets a unique personal citizen service number. This does not apply for EU nationals.

Be aware that different banks have different requirements. As a rule of thumb, if a document has your name and address, these are valid: rental agreement or mortgage statement, utility bills, bank or credit card statements printed by the bank. As a student, a birth certificate or university registration works.

As a non-resident, can I open a bank account in the Netherlands?

As a non-resident, it is possible to open a bank account in the Netherlands in some banks that offer special "international" accounts for non-residents. It is also possible to open a bank account if you have do banking with an institution with a correspondent bank in the Netherland or if your bank has an international branch. These are special cases and it is best to contact your bank for better information. Additionally, we are aware that currently ING and Bunq banks offer special international accounts.

Best banks in the Netherlands

The largest banks in the Netherlands are ING, Rabobank, ABN AMRO and SNS-Bank all of which with extensive banking and financial products for individuals and businesses with networks covering the entire country. For non-residents, these are good options.

  • ING: With a history spanning over 200 years and with branches all over the Netherlands, ING is one of the easiest places to open a bank account in as a non-resident even if you just arrived. The process is simple and you have your bank account in minutes provided you brought all necessary documentation: proof of address, photo ID and if you are a student, proof that you are enrolled at a school.
  • Rabobank: with a minimum monthly fee of 1.30 euros, Rabobank's basic bank account is a good deal and comes with a free debit card, online banking access and ATMs all over the country. Students get perks too which is free to open, automatically pays tuition fees and apartment rent, all of this costing only 1.25 euros per month. They have ATMs and branches all over the country.
  • ABN AMRO: Being present only in the Netherlands with thousands of ATMs and several branches, you must have a dutch address to open an account. They require a passport and an employment contract for all account applications. ABN AMRO offers online banking as standard which allows you to perform all essential banking operations such as paying bills and executing transfers.
  • SNS Bank: this is a nationalized bank with a 200 year history in the Netherlands and a large network of branches and ATMs. You must have a Dutch address to open a bank account and have to appear in person at a branch. Opening an account is free but you pay a 2.50 euro monthly maintenance fee and it comes with a free debit card.Not in English.

Opening a bank account in the Netherlands is a fairly straight forward process as long as you have all required documentation. We suggest that you check all specific documentation with the bank by giving them a call before you go to a branch to avoid any surprises. We also advise that you ask for a list of fees from your banking agent which will feature everything that you can do and for how much. It will cost up to 3 euros to get cash from an ATM outside of your bank's ATM network, for example. So it is important to make sure the bank you choose meets your needs.

The virtual bank account alternative

B2B Pay is a better option over a bank's wire transfer

Exchange rates and SWIFT fees are excessive regardless of the bank you choose. This is the case because banks do not adhere to the mid market rate (which is the exchange rate they use with each other) when performing international transfers on your behalf. They not only charge up to 10% over this, but also impose a SWIFT transfer fee which in the Netherlands will range from 5 to 50 euros depending on the bank.  They may claim to charge less, but the reality is that there are hidden fees which are impossible to avoid as a large bank specially when doing international transfers to a smaller market.

B2B Pay's virtual bank account connects your home country's bank account with your own European IBAN which allows you to transfer money back home and anywhere else in the world for fees that are over 80% lower than those practiced by banks. Additionally, your money gets there faster sometimes the same day even in markets like India or Brazil.

Sign Up with B2B Pay

How to open a bank account in Europe

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple European countries and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.



How to open a bank account overseas

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple countries all over the world and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.


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