How to open a bank account in the Netherlands?

Adam Rozsa

Considering moving to the Netherlands? One of the first things you might need is a local bank account.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about opening a bank account in the Netherlands, including the documents you’ll need, opening an account online and the best banks for expats in the Netherlands.

We’ll even take a quick look at a great alternative. Open a free Wise account, and you’ll get your own EUR bank details, so you can send, spend and receive money like a local.


Can US citizens open a bank account in the Netherlands?

Foreigners can open a Dutch bank account provided they live in the Netherlands, whether buying or renting a home. You’ll also be eligible if you’re studying or working, although the easiest route to apply for an account is with a Dutch address.

You’ll also need other types of important documentation, which we’ll look at next.

What do you need to open a bank account in the Netherlands?

The most important documents you’ll need to open a Dutch bank account are your passport and proof of address in the Netherlands. This could be a utility bill, rental contract, or some other official, recent document with your name and address on.

However, many banks may also request the following:

  • Proof of income - such as payslips or your employment contract
  • Your BSN (burgerservicenummer). This is your official national identification number while in the Netherlands, just like a social security number back in the US. You’ll need to register for your BSN within five days of arriving in the country. If you’re staying less than four months, you can apply for a Dutch BSN as a non-resident.

If you're looking to open a business account in the Netherlands, then things can get tricky if you belong outside of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Entrepreneurs who are already registering with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel) and obtaining a residence permit can fill out the Quick Scan 'Dutch Business Bank Account'.⁴

Looking to open a business account in the Netherlands from the US? Get Euro account details for your business, and get paid like a local.
Discover Wise Business today

Can I open a Dutch bank account online?

It is possible to open a bank account online in the Netherlands, but it very much depends on the bank.

For example, ABN AMRO (one of the big three Dutch banks) lets you open a bank account online using its app - provided you have a Dutch address, an international passport and are liable to pay taxes in the Netherlands¹. You’ll just need to download the app, snap a shot of your ID and you could have your account number within a matter of hours.

ING offers a similar service, although unfortunately its app doesn’t accept US passports as proof of ID². And at Rabobank, you’ll need to visit a branch in person to verify your identity³.

So, in short, you’ll need to check with the individual bank whether or not you can open your account online.

Opening a bank account in person

If you can’t open an account online with a particular bank (or simply prefer to do it in person), you’ll need to visit a local branch. Check first whether you’ll need to make an appointment first, then take your documentation along with you on the day.

For both online and in-person account opening, the bank may run a credit check on you. Once the account has been opened, your account information and debit card will be mailed to you within a few days.

Skip the hassle and get a Wise account to cover your international banking needs

Want a free online account without the need to visit a branch or provide piles of documents? Save time and hassle with a free Wise account.

The Wise account has all your international banking needs covered. You can send, spend, convert and manage a huge 50+ currencies at once, swapping between EUR and USD whenever you need to. You’ll also get local bank details for the Netherlands, so you can receive money in EUR for free.

And for convenient, low-cost spending in 200+ countries including the US and the Netherlands, you can order the Wise international debit card.

It takes just minutes to open your free Wise account.

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Can I open a bank account in the Netherlands without BSN?

Many banks will ask for your BSN during the process of opening an account, but not all. For example, ING doesn’t specify that it needs a BSN (although it also doesn’t accept US passports as proof of ID)⁴. You can also try a digital bank like Revolut or N26, which only require identity documents in order to open an account.

However, you will still need a BSN if you move to the Netherlands. Not only is it mandatory to register for your BSN within five days of moving there, but you’ll need it for pretty much everything. This includes getting a driving license, accessing the public healthcare system and paying your Dutch taxes.

What are the best banks for expats in the Netherlands?

Here’s a quick look at the main banks you can choose from in the Netherlands, including international and mobile-only banks⁶.

Major Dutch banks:

  • ING
  • Rabobank
  • SNS Bank (best for Dutch speakers)

International banks:

  • HSBC - international
  • NatWest
  • Bank of America
  • Deutsche Bank
  • BNP Paribas

Mobile banks:

  • Revolut
  • N26
  • Bunq.

How long does it take to open a Dutch bank account?

It all depends on the bank, and whether you can open an account online. If you’re eligible to open an account online, you could complete the process in as little as 10 minutes and receive your new account number within 4 hours.

If not, it could take a few days while your new account details and bank card are mailed out to you.

Remember - it takes just minutes to open a free Wise account online, and then you’ll be able to manage your money across 50+ currencies.

Sign up today

Sources used:
  4. Quick Scan

All sources checked on 26-Jul-2022

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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