Banking System in Amsterdam
The banking system is modern and well organized. ABN/AMRO and ING are the most common banks, while Fortis, Rabo and DSB are other popular banks; mostly around the city you will find ING ATM machines (there are found in almost all supermarkets) but you can use those, even if your account belongs to another bank, free of charge (once per day). However Dutch people usually carry no cash, vastly depending on the use of chipnik, in worldwide terms: ‘debit cards’ (you swing the card, type in your password and voila! – no need for cash). You can use your chipnik debit card in almost any shop – pub – restaurant.
In contrast, credit cards (i.e. Visa, Mastercard et.c.) are not used frequently. Their only use here is in expensive restaurants and stores. Supermarkets do not accept credit cards.
It is also possible to open an account at the Postbank (the post office).
To open a bank account you will need to provide identification, such as a passport and your residency card indicating your BSN number (formerly known as social security number which can be obtained through registering with your local municipality) for living in the Netherlands. For certain kinds of accounts (usually savings) and other kinds of banking services, you might also need to provide information about your income and employment.
Normal hours of banking are 9:00-17:00, Monday to Friday. However, many bank branches have later hours on Thursdays, which correspond with the other businesses that stay open later on this week day. A few branches are open for limited hours on Saturday (generally from around 10-13) but you ought to check with the individual branch locations, since this varies with the individual banks and their branches.
In the Netherlands, internet banking is very popular, so when you set up a bank account, it is a good idea to inquire about this option right away. Many of the payments that you will have to make regularly (such as monthy rent, mobile phone bills, utility bills, cable, etc.) as well as the payment slips you will receive from doctors and other less regular appointments can be paid through your bank, as online transfers from your account into the recipients’. If you prefer not to have to pay these with slips at the bank (or bring them to the post office) each time you must make a payment, you can also pay all your bills online, which is very convenient.