Tikkie etiquette: the do’s and don’ts of asking for money in the Netherlands

When you think of the Netherlands what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? It could be windmills, cheese, or the infamous Tikkie — an online payment system where you can send people requests for absurdly small amounts of money.

There’s no rule book for Tikkie — but there really should be one. With their reputation for being direct and stingy, Dutchies seem to have no problems navigating the unspoken rules of Tikkie.

For internationals who come from less direct cultures though, the art (or extreme sport if you’re Dutch) of Tikkie-ing can be a minefield.

READ MORE | What is Tikkie? How to use the Dutch’s favourite payment system

What’s an appropriate amount to request a Tikkie for?

Anyone who’s lived in the Netherlands has probably realised that the idea of reciprocity and doing rounds doesn’t really exist here. Don’t get us wrong, this can have advantages… but not that many. 😂

If you’ve ever interacted with Dutchies you’ve probably received a Tikkie for €0,80 or an equally negligible amount. 👀 Perhaps from a guy you went on a date with who wants to be reimbursed for the contribution he made so you could use the public toilet. 🚽

READ MORE | 14 downright stingy things Dutch people do

While having an easy way to request your money is great, we’d suggest holding off on those Tikkie’s for less than €4 at the cost of looking heel stingy. 💸

What’s an appropriate amount of time to send a Tikkie in?

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 fork down — that might come off as a little desperate — but if you send it when you get home or the next morning you’re good to go.

Group-of-friends-has-drinks-in-the-netherlands-it-is-important-to-be-on-time
With Tikkie’s timing is everything. Image: Chika_milan/Depositphotos

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 worse than waking up to a Tikkie request for €2 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 you 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 that.

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 can see that round of drinks as being on you. 🍻

When is it appropriate to send a 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. But not the next day —people are busy.

Where do you stand on the highly debated subject of Tikkie’s? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: DutchReview/Canva

Jen Lorimer 🇿🇼
An avid tea drinker, Jen was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She moved to Utrecht in 2017 to pursue her history degree. She loves people-watching, canoeing the Utrecht canals, and observing how the Dutch come alive in summer. Having been traumatised by a Dutch circle party, Jen wants to help equip other internationals with tips and tricks to survive and thrive in this wonderful flat country.

2 COMMENTS

  1. As a Dutch person: a lot of us do not use ‘tikkies’ and regard this sytem as highly suspicious and potentially fraudulent. I think tikkies mean you are not really friends but just acquaintances, because among close friends it does not matter who pays a bit more or when you are getting your money (if they asked you to help out with something). You will ‘settle the score’ live, next time you see each other. The only person you send a tikkie to is the one that always ‘forgets’ to pay.

  2. Hi fellow Zimbo in NL! 😉 Great article! I think Tikkie is so useful and convenient, wish we had something similar back home. Stay safe 🇿🇼💐

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