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About us Working at the University of Groningen That is why you work at the UG Practical matters

Bank affairs

If you are from outside the EU/EEA or you do not have a European bank account with an International Bank Account Number (IBAN), you will need to open a Dutch bank account in order to manage your day-to-day finances (e.g. receiving your salary and paying for housing). After your arrival you will get instructions on how to open a bank account from the HR department or from the Information Services - Immigration and Visa.

If you already have a European bank account with an IBAN, you do not have to apply for a Dutch bank account as the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) enables you to make and to receive transfers in the Netherlands. However, you can open a Dutch bank account if you still wish to have one.

Keep in mind that most Dutch banks require a Citizen Service Number (BSN) (Immigration Services) the moment that you apply for the account. You get a BSN within a few weeks after you have registered at the City Hall.

Please be informed that administrative procedures may cause a delayed salary payment in the first month of your employment at the University. It is therefore advisable to bring some financial reserves for the initial period of your appointment.

If you will be bringing more than (the equivalent of) € 10,000 in cash you will need to declare this at customs. When you deposit your cash into your Dutch bank account, the bank will ask for a copy of your declaration form. If you do not make a declaration, you run the risk of receiving a fine. Please visit the website of the Dutch Customs Administration for more information on this subject.

How to pay

Four basic payment methods are recognized in the Netherlands: cash, PIN, credit card, or bank transfer. PIN and cash payment are the most common methods. A PIN card (in Dutch: pinpas) is connected to your bank account. You can pay by simply entering a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN), just as you would at an ATM machine. Payment by credit card is less common in smaller shops and supermarkets. However, restaurants, hotels and department stores generally accept all major cards. The bank transfer can be used when you buy from online stores.


The currency of the Netherlands is the euro, written as €. A euro is divided into one hundred cents. There are coins and banknotes, each denomination has a different size and color.

Foreign exchange

The exchange rate is fixed every day and will be displayed at every foreign exchange office. All banks offer the same rates, but their charges for foreign exchange may vary. The largest foreign exchange specialist in the Netherlands is GWK Travelex with offices located at railway stations, airports, and popular tourist locations.

Last modified:24 September 2020 07.01 a.m.