Over half of residents using mobile banking in the Netherlands and many now regularly pay bills and manage their money using their mobile devices.
The Netherlands has been at the forefront of the technological revolution in banking, with many customers now banking and making payments online and from mobile devices. bunq, a Dutch mobile-only bank that launched in 2015, takes a look at the current situation with mobile banking in the Netherlands.
bunq mobile banking
With bunq, you can open your full Dutch bank accounts in just five minutes using nothing more than your mobile phone. You get real-time access to your account, instant payments and dedicated customer support available in English, Dutch, German, Italian and Spanish.
Mobile banking in the Netherlands
Banking has changed considerably since the advent of the internet and smartphone devices, and the Dutch have embraced the new options these changes have brought more than most. According to recent EU figures, 89% of the Dutch population use online banking, the joint 3rd highest in the EU/EEA behind only Iceland and Norway. Around 66% of the population use mobile banking in the Netherlands, including 60% of 50-64 year olds.
Most Dutch banks now offer internet and mobile banking services. These include national high street banks such as ABN-AMRO, ING Bank and SNS as well as newer online and mobile banks. Online-only providers offering mobile banking in the Netherlands include:
Features of mobile banking in the Netherlands
Mobile banking uses apps that are downloaded onto mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Users can then perform banking functions from their device. Each bank offering mobile banking in the Netherlands has its own app, which can be used for things such as:
- Making bill payments and paying for goods in shops.
- Transferring money from one account to another or paying money to friends.
- Monthly budgeting using online tools.
- Contacting banking staff for advice or problem-solving via social media accounts.
- Accessing money from mobile accounts across the globe.
- Having round-the-clock 24/7 access to account services.
Mobile banking provides many benefits for expats in the Netherlands including making cross-border payments and moving money between accounts that use the euro, immediacy of service, and lower banking costs. With bunq, you can open an account in minutes and make multi-currency payments and overseas card transactions at much cheaper rates.
There are still some limitations with mobile banking in the Netherlands as well as elsewhere. Loan services are limited, as is the ability to transfer money to foreign currency accounts. Internet availability can also be an issue as mobile banking relies on a data connection, although Wi-Fi and Internet coverage in the Netherlands is generally quite good.
Making mobile payments in the Netherlands
Mobile payments are financial transactions that are conducted through a mobile phone or other mobile device (e.g., a tablet). These are use as an alternative to cash, credit cards, and other forms of payment. Mobile payments in the Netherlands are done using mobile apps or mobile wallets linked to bank accounts and installed on smartphones. Technology such as QR codes and near field communication (NFC) enables people to make contactless payments in stores, pay for bills and tickets, or make immediate payments to friends or family.
Mobile payment apps in the Netherlands are available for both Apple and Android phones. The most popular is the iDEAL app. The Dutch online payments specialist has a 57% share of the e-commerce market in the Netherlands, with over half of its payments made through mobile banking. Other popular apps providers of mobile payments in the Netherlands include OK (which was developed by the team behind iDEAL), Payconiq, and PayPal. Individual Dutch banks are generally have their own apps, as well.
Security for mobile banking in the Netherlands
There have been consumer fears across Europe concerning mobile banking and mobile payments. However, doing banking through mobile devices is actually a safer way to bank and manage finances. Payment systems frequently use biometric data, such as fingerprint identification or voice activation; these are more secure than a PIN or signature. Additionally, payment systems and mobile banking in the Netherlands are heavily encrypted, so there is no compromise to security levels.
You can protect yourself against fraud and security breaches by taking measures such as:
- keeping everything password protected where necessary and using a high-strength password;
- never logging into your account using a public network or shared Wi-Fi;
- never keeping yourself logged into your account when it’s not in use.
Opening a bank account in the Netherlands
To open up an account with a bank in the Netherlands, you’ll need to provide valid ID, plus you will usually also be asked for your residence permit, BSN (burgerservicenummer) and proof of address. Evidence of income is also required for certain accounts.
If you’re moving to the Netherlands and would like to open an account before moving, you can open a mobile account with an online-only bank such as bunq or N26. The process takes just minutes and you’ll be able to access your account and banking services from all across the world.
See our guide to opening a Dutch bank account for further details of the banking process in the Netherlands.