Dutch Quirk #7: Send a Tikkie for virtually nothing

HomeUltimate List of Dutch QuirksDutch Quirk #7: Send a Tikkie for virtually nothing

A home-cooked dinner for €15, a coffee for €3, or a pack of potato chips for €0.70 — the Dutch will send a Tikkie for even the crummiest of cash and for absolutely any occasion. 

Living in the Netherlands means you’ll eventually come across windmills, canals, tulips, and a notorious Tikkie request from a Dutchie. It’s inevitable; just accept your fate!

What is it?

If you’re new to the world of eccentric quirks that the Dutch proudly possess, then you’re probably left very confused. What exactly is a Tikkie? And why is it such a big deal? 🤔

Basically, it’s an online system that allows you to send people payment requests via WhatsApp. 

READ MORE | 14 downright stingy things Dutch people do

How it works is actually pretty simple. If someone owes you money, you enter the amount into the Tikkie app, write a note explaining what it’s for, and then share the generated payment link to your desired WhatsApp contacts. 

But there’s a catch. The infamous Tikkie app has exactly null limits on how low you can go when asking for shillings, which totally caters to the penny-pinching ways of the Dutch. 💸

Why do they do it?

The Tikkie app grew enormously amongst the Dutch crowd in the past years, and it’s not the least bit surprising. It clicks perfectly with an all-important part of their culture and behaviour — they just love splitting the bill!

Not only that, but it’s also a surefire way that they can keep every smidgeon of cash in their bank account and ensure that not a single person is in debted to them – which is just how the Dutch like it.

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

Listen, we get it. It’s a natural human instinct to want to give back what you owe to others, and rightfully so — but we can argue that decorum is just as easily an important factor to consider. 

With that being said, you might want to hold off on sending a Tikkie for things like hand soap or toilet paper rolls — unless, of course, you’re:

  • a high-schooler on a tight allowance,
  • a university or a college student with little to no disposable income,
  • living in an apartment with three or more roommates.

Why is it quirky? 

Imagine being invited as a guest to a Dutch person’s home. You have a couple of drinks, they cook you a lekker meal for dinner (if you’re lucky), and you go home feeling satisfied with the evening.

The next day, you unexpectedly receive a text message that reads, “Please could you pay me €15 for half of the dinner ingredients and drinks.” Sorry to say, but you just fell for the classic Tikkie bait. 😬

And unfortunately, that’s just one of the many scenarios where you’ll find yourself being Tikkie-ed. 

Borrelen with your colleagues? Tikkie for the round of beers. Asked out on a date? Tikkie for the entire meal course. Offered a bite of cake? Tikkie for that one, individual bite.

You get the gist. 😉

Should you join in? 

As an international living in the Netherlands, it’s inevitable that you’ll start to familiarise yourself with Dutch traditions and habits. You might even join in on some of them so you can truly know what it’s like to live like the Dutch. 

However, while getting back your money is always great, we’d suggest holding off on the habit of sending Tikkies for anything less than €4 or €5 at the cost of looking kindaaa scrimpy. 😐

What do you think of this Dutch quirk? Have you experienced it? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Canva/DutchReview
Gaelle Salem
Gaelle Salem
Born and raised on the island of Sint Maarten, Gaelle moved to the Netherlands in 2018 to attend university. Still trying to survive the erratic Dutch wind and rain, she has taken up the hobby of buying a new umbrella every month. You can probably find her in the centre of The Hague appreciating the Dutch architecture with a coffee in one hand and a slice of appeltaart in the other.


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