Good preparation is essential before any international move. There are so many things to do when leaving your old country, and even more to arrange when getting ready for somewhere new. No matter how well prepared you are, it is likely you will experience some unexpected surprises in the first weeks. Remember that a sense of humour will help to keep all this in proportion!
The Netherlands uses the euro as its currency, like Euro as do many of the nations of the European Union.
Banks provide the following services:
You will need a Dutch bank account if you are going to live here for some time. You must go in person to the bank to set up the account. When choosing a bank it is advisable to check if they have a branch or good contact in your home country, e.g. for money transfers. It is advisable to keep your bank account in your home country, and if you do not already use internet banking then now is a good time to set it up.
All the main banks have a number of branches in the Eindhoven area. Opening hours vary so check at your local bank for exact times. In general though they open from 09:00 to -17:00 from Monday to -Friday and (in some cases) from 10:00 to -16:00 on Saturday.
Opening an account
Many people prefer to make an appointment at the bank, but this is not always necessary - ask at the information desk to see an advisor. It used to be the case that you needed a SOFI (social insurance) number to open an account. This is no longer the case, though some banks still ask.
You will need your passport plus the following:
PIN Card/Credit Card
Credit Cards are less widely used in the Netherlands, and they are accepted in fewer outlets than PIN cards. For example, it is generally not possible to pay with a credit card in the supermarkets. Credit cards are mostly used for bigger purchases expenses or in restaurants, airports, clothing shops...
A PIN card is a card with a Personal Identification Number, issued for use with your bank account.
The amount spent is transferred directly from your account to the payee's account. A maximum daily limit can be negotiated with your bank when you open your account.
PIN cards are accepted in most shops, garages, restaurants and cash dispensers. However, it is always best to check both in restaurants and shops. Cash dispensers/automatic teller machines (ATM's) do not always accept all cards - check on the sign.
Cheques/Euro cheques are not commonly used in the Netherlands. Most payments are made in cash, by on PIN or Credit cards, by electronic transfer ally or by using an acceptgiro form.
A system where a card is pre-paid from your account, using the phone or chip ATM, and used for paying small amounts e.g. parking, coffee etc. (not available in all shops).
Payment in shops is generally by PIN card or cash, restaurants frequently take credit cards too. In some towns parking must be paid for by CHIP card, but cash is usually also accepted.
Payment of household bills is by direct debit, electronic (internet) banking or acceptgiro form (the company selling the item sends an paper invoice to the customer who fills it in and sends it to the bank).
All banks offer internet banking. Some banks also offer this service in English
International Money Transfer
To enable your Dutch bank to arrange money transfers to your foreign account, you need to provide them with your international banking codes (Aba nor. for USA, IBAN or BIC for European banks).