Opening bank account in The Netherlands

08 april 2024

Opening a bank account is an essential step for expats settling in the Netherlands. Whether you're relocating for work, study, or lifestyle, having a Dutch bank account streamlines your financial transactions, from receiving salaries to paying bills and managing everyday expenses. This comprehensive guide outlines everything expats need to know about opening a bank account in the Netherlands, including requirements, procedures, and tips for choosing the right bank.

Researching Dutch Banks

Before diving into the account opening process, it's wise to research various banks in the Netherlands to find one that best suits your needs. Consider factors such as banking fees, accessibility, online banking services, and English language support. Popular Dutch banks include ING, ABN AMRO, Rabobank, and bunq, each offering different account options and features.

Understanding Account Types

Dutch banks offer a range of account types catering to different needs, from basic checking accounts to premium packages with additional services. Expats should assess their banking requirements and choose an account that aligns with their financial goals and lifestyle. Common account types include:
- Current Account (betaalrekening): A standard checking account for daily transactions.
- Savings Account (spaarrekening): For saving money and earning interest.
- Joint Account (gezamenlijke rekening): Shared account for couples or housemates.
- Student Account (studentenrekening): Tailored for students with special benefits.

Family at the bank opening a bank account

Required Documentation

To open a bank account in the Netherlands, expats typically need to provide the following documentation:
- Valid Passport or ID: Proof of identity is mandatory for all applicants.
- Proof of Address: A recent utility bill or rental agreement confirming your address in the Netherlands.
- Residence Permit (if applicable): Non-EU expats may need to present a valid residence permit.
- Citizen Service Number (BSN): Some banks require a BSN, which you can obtain from the municipality upon registration.

Initiating the Account Opening Process

Once you've chosen a bank and gathered the necessary documents, you can initiate the account opening process. This can be done either online or by visiting a branch, depending on the bank's procedures. Online applications are convenient and often available in English, while branch visits allow for face-to-face assistance.

Completing Verification Procedures

As part of the account opening process, banks in the Netherlands are required to verify your identity and address. This may involve in-person verification at a branch or through digital identification methods, such as iDIN or DigiD. Be prepared to undergo identity checks to comply with Dutch banking regulations.

Activating Your Account

Once your application is approved and verification procedures are complete, your bank will issue your account details, including account number and debit card. Activate your account by transferring an initial deposit, which may vary depending on the bank and account type. Upon receipt of the deposit, your account will be fully operational.

Managing Your Dutch Bank Account

Congratulations, you're now the holder of a Dutch bank account! Take advantage of online banking services to manage your finances conveniently. Set up direct debits for recurring payments, transfer funds domestically or internationally, and monitor your account activity regularly. Many Dutch banks offer mobile banking apps for on-the-go access to your accounts.

Additional Services and Benefits

Beyond basic banking services, explore additional offerings from your chosen bank, such as insurance products, investment opportunities, and expat-specific services. Some banks provide tailored packages for expats, including relocation assistance, multilingual customer support, and expat-focused events.


Opening a bank account in the Netherlands is a fundamental step towards establishing your financial presence in your new home. By understanding the requirements, choosing the right bank, and navigating the account opening process, expats can enjoy seamless banking services and financial stability during their time in the Netherlands.