What do you mean there is no cash at the bank? from ExpatrordinaryAmsterdam



When an expat arrives in the Netherlands, they are required to register with the town, (make an appointment at the Expat Center), obtain a residency permit sponsored by an employer and open a back account. An American thinks, “Oh, the bank account will be easy.” Usually, one can walk in any American bank and ask to open an account and is immediately ushered into a cue or directly into the manager’s office – cause they want your money. You may bring cash, a check or be ready to transfer funds from one account to your new account. Well, this is not the same here in the Netherlands.

First, you are required to make an appointment. There is no just walking in. Nope. You have to call the office and request an appointment. Once your appointment has been officially made, not in person, but over the phone, you then can go to the bank with your passport that has your new shiny residency sticker and BSN number (think social security number) and then, once you follow these procedures, IN ORDER, you are ready to open your new account.

Now, you think it is all easy after this. Nope. If you want to deposit money through a check, that takes six weeks. They do not deal in checks. Nope. If you want to transfer money electronically from your account in the US, they don’t do that either. Nope. That requires someone standing on the other side of the pond ready to make the transfer from your American back to your new bank. If you want to deposit cash, you cannot expect a teller or live person to do that either. Nope. Because there is no cash at the bank. Nope. The bank only deals with cash through machines.

I know, this sounds really strange. If you want to deposit money, you go to the ATM machine, you take it out of one account, then you stick it back in the machine and deposit to another account. Yep. And did I mention the ATM fees? Yep, on both ends – from the account you just took the money out of and the one you just put money into. And then there is that exchange between dollar and euro. Why do I feel like we are getting the short end of the money stick here?

First priority after opening your new bank account – if you are getting paid in dollars, is to investigate money transfer companies.



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