When you think of the Netherlands, what’s the first thing that springs to mind? Is it windmills, cheese, or tulips? Or maybe it’s the infamous Tikkie — an online payment system where you can send people requests for absurdly small amounts of money.
There’s no official rule book for using Tikkie — but there really should be one. With their reputation for being both direct and stingy, Dutch people seem to have no problems navigating the unspoken rules of the payment platform.
For internationals who come from less direct cultures, though, the art (or extreme sport, if you’re Dutch) of Tikkie-ing can be quite the minefield.
What’s an appropriate amount to request a Tikkie for?
Anyone who’s lived in the Netherlands for a while has probably realised that the idea of reciprocity, or doing rounds, doesn’t really exist here. Don’t get us wrong, this can have its advantages… But not that many. 😂
Instead of living by the rules of reciprocity, Dutchies prefer to settle the bill (no matter how big or small) as soon as possible to make sure no person is indebted to another.
In other words, if you’ve ever interacted with Dutch people, you’ve probably received a Tikkie for €0.80 or an equally negligible amount.
You should not be surprised if you’ve received a Tikkie from a guy you went on a date with who wants to be reimbursed for the €0.50 contribution he made so you could use the public toilet 🚽.
Or from a friend who covered the €1.50 you needed for a morning coffee. ☕
While having an easy way to request your money is great, we’d suggest holding off on those Tikkies for less than €4 at the cost of looking heel stingy. 💸
When is it socially acceptable to send a Tikkie?
We asked the DutchReview readers for their opinions, and the general consensus is that the sooner you send that Tikkie, the better.
Maybe don’t send it while you’re still seated at the restaurant, having just put your forks down — that might come off as a little desperate. But if you send it when you get home or the next morning, you’re generally good to go.
When is it appropriate to send a Tikkie follow-up request?
If a week or more has passed and your money’s still conspicuously absent from your bank account, go ahead and send a follow-up request.
@dutchreview Mhm, keep telling yourselves that #dutch #expat #dutchreview #fyp #fyp #nederlands #tikkie ♬ original sound – DutchReview
But not the next day — people are busy, and sometimes international bank transfers take a bit of time.
What if you forget to send the Tikkie — how long do you have?
The amount of time permissible for a Tikkie request kind of depends on the amount of money that you’re asking for. There’s nothing less charming than bamboozling someone with a €2 Tikkie for a party you went to two months ago. Don’t do that. People won’t like you for it. 🙄
But say you’re going through your bank account, and remember that you paid €30 for a friend two months ago. Then you’re well within your rights to send a Tikkie, and everyone will respect you for it.
The jury is still out on sums between €10-€20 — but we think a safe rule of thumb is that if you haven’t sent that Tikkie within a month, you should see that round of drinks as being on you. 🍻
Where do you stand on the highly-debated subject of Tikkies? Tell us in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in October 2021 and was fully updated in September 2023 for your reading pleasure.