How to open a bank account in Norway
Opening a bank account in Norway may sound like a daunting task, but it really isn’t that difficult if you follow the right steps. This guide on how to open a bank account in Norway will take you through the process and help you choose the right bank.
Before we get into all the steps and documentation that you will need to open a Norwegian bank out, Let’s talk about some of the features and benefits of a Norwegian bank account.
What do I get with a Norwegian bank account?
There are many ways to manage your money here in Norway. You can pay bills directly, withdraw cash from an ATM, or transfer money to and from other accounts. Also in Norway, a bank for withdrawing and depositing funds is also called bankkonto. What features does a bankkonto offer a new account user?
Well, Norway is part of the European Economic Area (EEA) which means you will provide an IBAN (International Bank Account Number). An IBAN allows to transfer and receive money free from charges and fees from any country with the European Union.
Also with an IBAN, you can send funds between other accounts in the SEPA Euro Payment Area (SEPA). We have an article on the SEPA and IBAN accounts in our blog post, so take a look for more information on both services.
Another thing you can be happy about with Norwegian banks is the fact that they are very modern. Most banks have a mobile app that helps you transfer and send money in a matter of seconds. You can also manage your funds directly from the app without having to go to the bank's physical location.
Am I eligible to open a bank account in Norway?
If you are a foreigner, over 18, and reside in the country you are eligible to open a bank account. As long as you have a valid passport, the process is pretty streamlined. Although, you might have some difficulties if you are a non-resident or a non-EU national. Getting eligibility to open a bank account in Norway is very simple as we have stated earlier.
First and foremost, you would need to provide the bank with proof of address in Norway. Most banks will also ask for a Norwegian National Identity Number, which is issued to Norwegians and those planning to stay in the country for an extended period. In the case that you do not have a Norwegian ID, you can provide a D-Number which is issued to foreigners planning to stay less than six months in the country.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some standard banks might ask for a letter of recommendation from the institution you currently bank with. This is simply to ensure that the bank isn’t taking on too much risk by accepting you as their client.
And finally, you’ll need a bank account number when opening an account; this needs to be applied for in person at a branch. In some cases, students might be able to get around this requirement if they can prove they are enrolled in a Norwegian University.
What's the typical process? Can I open a bank account online?
Opening a bank account in Norway is relatively straightforward and quick. However, depending on whether you want to open a bank account with a High Street bank or a digital bank. The process might slightly be different. In most cases, as we have stated above you will have to provide documents that prove your residency status in Norway.
If you are looking to open a bank account online then you will have to provide the bank with a Bank ID. Bank ID is also known as Bank-Stored ID and it's the most popular form of Digital Identity in Norway. More than 3.9 million people currently use this type of identification system which relies heavily on personal information as well as a randomly generated code from your security token along with your password.
So how do you go about getting a Bank ID? If you have a bank account at one of Norway's financial institutions, then your bank can issue you a BankID. You can ask them to do this when you turn thirteen if they haven't already offered it to you. A BankID will work everywhere in Norway and for various types of services like using public transport or taking part in the job market.
But if you want to arrive in Norway with a bank account already set up, then you might want to think about opening one with a mobile bank. You can go through the entire process on your phone from start to finish using only your passport and proof of residency. Just download an app and fill out some forms; they'll verify everything for you as well! That said, you must take time before choosing where to open your new account at.
Opening a Bank Account with a Brick and Mortar Bank in Norway
Opening an account at a bank in Norway is possible in person, but many banks allow people to sign up entirely online. Once you present your passport and Norwegian national ID number (or D-number) to a particular bank, then you will be given a BankID.
Let's now take a look at some of the prominent high-street banks in Norway and what kinds of services they provide for foreigners and residents:
Bank Norwegian AS
Bank Norwegian was established in 2007 and has quickly become one of the most reputable financial institutions not just in Norway but throughout all of Northern Europe. This newest-generation banking service is recognized by authorities for its licensing as well as its connection to national security measures such as the nation's federal deposit insurance program. As of 2015, Bank Norwegian holds 17.5 billion NOK which is a decent sum considering it has only been operational for less than ten years now.
DNB ASA holds over NOK 1.9 trillion in total assets, making it Norway's biggest bank, followed closely by DnB NOR Bank which has a market cap of nearly USD 165 million. DNB Nor offers an array of financial services ranging from bank accounts and loans to investment advice for both personal and business needs. Located throughout the country at various locations such as banks, post offices, online or even through their app - they are determined to make it easy for all those who want access to their money or need banking support.
This large bank offers universal banking services and has a branch in Oslo, Norway which is one of the leading banks for Personal and business customers. Handelsbanken was founded in 1986 with 800+ employees providing financial solutions such as Savings, Loans, Credit and Debit Cards, Insurance Services, Asset Management, Stock Brokerage, and Corporate Finance.
Alternative Banking options in Norway
If you are looking to open an account in Norway but want to skip all of the process and documentation needs we have stated above. There are a number of mobile and online banks in the European union providing bank account with IBAN accounts and facilitating SEPA transfers.
Digital banks have been on the rise throughout Europe and Norway included. The ease of use, low international fees, and user-friendly interface has made it a better option for some than the standard brick-and-mortar branches.
Let’s take a look at some of the digital banks that give their clients access to NOK:
Some of those mobile banks include:
Open an account with Transferwise and transfer money abroad. If you’re moving abroad, setting up your new life can be complex, particularly if you’re going to be working or studying abroad. That’s where TransferWise can help. TransferWise is a leading provider of international transfers and currency exchange that allows you to save up to 90% on international transfers.
The online bank also provides different bank account with IBAN and SEPA transfers. You can also get a business bank account with Wise.
The internet and smartphone technologies have completely redefined what it means to be a modern consumer. With N26’s app-only banking model, you don’t have to go into any branches to open a Norwegian bank account or deal with paper checks (though there is free transfer money between people through N26 ). Plus, thanks to recent changes announced by German authorities, opening an N26 account isn’t as difficult as it used to be.
You can do pretty much any operations that you would need to do in Norway with an N26. In addition, N26 has different accounts to choose from and the standard account provided is absolutely free.
n recent years, Revolut has come up as a key player in the banking industry. It is one of the best-known challenger banks currently operating around the world. Being both an EU resident and having an account with them makes it easier for me to use this service. Simply by transferring my funds from Euros to Norwegian Krone at market rates, you can withdraw them using my Revolut debit card - no matter where you are!
What do you need to open a Norwegian Bank Account?
When it comes time to open an account, you can fill out the paperwork online and then visit your local branch. You’ll need identification and proof of address, such as your passport or driver’s license and a utility bill (such as telephone or internet). The process generally takes less than 30 minutes.
If you plan on withdrawing money while visiting Norway, remember that many banks will have different fees for currency withdrawals if you’re not from Norway. For example, Norwegian banks charge kroner 200 for each withdrawal up to kroner 10,000 from outside of Europe. There are also ATM fees associated with international withdrawals. If you're going to be working there for more than three months, it's important that you get yourself set up with these things.
Some other documentation that would be good to have in hand when visiting the bank includes:
Photograph for a passport
- D-Number, or Norwegian National Identity Number
- Proof of Norwegian residence (utility bill or rental contract)
- Proof of employment or enrolment in a school
These documents are good to have in hand, as the documentation needed to open an account differs from bank to bank.
Banking Fees in Norway
Just like any bank around the world Norwegian banks charge fees for VISA cards, ATM fees, and many others. However, these fees do not apply to student and kids' accounts. Banks such as DNB usually card a Visa card fee of 275 NOK but have no fees for Mastercard users.
Fees can also be incurred when you withdraw money from a rival bank ATM. You will be charged anywhere between 7 and 10 NOK. Standard current accounts do not incur a monthly fee, but reward account usually deducts a monthly fee. If you need to transfer money abroad, there will be a hefty surcharge.
DNB offers the lowest rate at 1.95% for international transfers, but other banks may take up to 2.25%. Some banks offer as low as 0.5-1%, however, they will add a charge of 20-30 NOK on top of this cost, without stating it upfront beforehand so it feels hidden. On top of all these fees (which are poorly documented), you'll also suffer from a bad exchange rate when converting currency - because it happens behind closed doors and undercuts your hard-earned cash from its original value
If you are looking for the best exchange rate or send money abroad without having your money devalued. Then we advise using digital banks as they offer a mid-market exchange, no monthly fees, and No or low ATM withdrawal fees.
Yes, to open an account in Norway, you'll first need a BankID. You can get one at any Norwegian bank - provided that you're already registered as a taxpayer there. If you're foreign though, they may ask for your valid passport and proof of identification (your Norwegian National ID card) just to confirm things further.
The application process for opening a new bank account is fairly fast. Depending on whether you choose to apply online or in person, you can fill out the necessary paperwork within 15 minutes. The bank will then typically verify your information and give you access to your account within one or two days.
Bank Norwegian AS has been voted the best bank in Norway, but it is not the only option. DNB, Sparebanken Vest, Nordea, and Swedbank are also available for Norwegian banking needs.
Vipps is not meant for tourists or people who are from elsewhere. To use Vipps, you will need to have; BankID (identification), a Norwegian ID number, and a Norwegian banking account set up to receive the money transferred via Vipps.
To open a bank account in Oslo, you will need to visit the branch in person and complete an application form. You will also need to produce identification documents such as a passport or driving license. A Norwegian national ID card can also be used.
BankID may be used when signing an e-signature on an online document, such as approving payments in an online banking account or store. Signing long documents with BankID on a phone or tablet may only be done if you are using BankID from one of the major banks.