Most stores and (super)markets only accept cash or debit cards. Some hotels, restaurants and bars also accept credit cards, but please check in advance if you want to use your credit card. All services of Radboud University (e.g. restaurants, the Spar on campus, the Sports Centre) will only accept debit card payments.
As soon as you have moved to the Netherlands, it can be very practical to open a Dutch bank account and receive a debit card. In the Netherlands payment is usually made by debit card (pinpas) and in cash with Euros.
Who can open a bank account
For students who possess an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) from a country that belongs to the SEPA area and for whom it is possible to keep their account, it is not necessary to apply for a Dutch bank account. However, it can be very handy to do so, as some organisations require you to have a Dutch bank account in order to make use of their services (for example, to buy a personal chip card (OV Chipkaart) for use on public transport.
For students who have a bank account in a country that is not a SEPA member, we recommend opening a bank account.
Students who have been awarded a scholarship paid by Radboud University or who transferred funds (living expenses) for the visa application are requested to open a Dutch bank account. After arrival, Radboud University will transfer these funds to your Dutch bank account.
Banks will usually only allow you to open a bank account if you stay in the Netherlands for at least one semester (5-6 months).
Exchange students who stay in the Netherlands for less than six months cannot open a regular bank account. However, they can open a Bunq account which is an online-only bank.
If you are under the age of 18 you can only open a bank account in the Netherlands if one of your parents or guardians is present in the Netherlands during the meeting with the bank.
Activate your bank card
If you want to use your own bank card in the Netherlands, and you do not open a Dutch bank account, make sure your bank card contains an actual EMV chip, activate your bank card for use in the Netherlands before arrival, and have some cash and/or credit card with you in case your card for some reason does not work.
Documents needed for opening a bank account
- A valid identification document (for non-EU students: passport and residence permit/letter from the IND)
- Proof of enrolment at the university (you can download this proof from Osiris, instructions will be given after enrolment)
- An address in the Netherlands where you will live during your stay. Sometimes banks require an official proof of address, such as a statement of registration from the municipality or your room contract.
- Your BSN (burgerservicenummer). When you register with the municipality you will get your BSN number. Before arrival all incoming international students will receive instructions by e-mail on how to make an appointment with the municipality. The BSN number is a personal number that government agencies and other official bodies use in their communications with citizens.
We strongly advise students who do not have a SEPA account in their home country to make an appointment with the municipality as soon as possible after arrival, as you will need the BSN to open a bank account.
Even if you intend to open a Dutch bank account, you still need to have other means of payment at your disposal on arrival. We strongly suggest that you bring:
- Bank card that allows you to use an ATM in the Netherlands. Please check with your bank to make sure it will work in Dutch ATMs
- Credit card (VISA or Mastercard)
Bank offices in Nijmegen
- ABN Amro*, Hertogstraat 70
- ING, Molenstraat 5-7
- Rabobank, Keizer Karelplein 1
- BUNQ online bank only, no office in Nijmegen
* Radboud University has made special arrangements for international students to open a bank account with ABN Amro.