Open a Dutch bank account without a BSN at these banks

Get a headstart on your Dutch finances 🚀

So, you need to open a Dutch bank account without a BSN? You’ll be happy to hear that that’s geen probleem — but only at some banks. 

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, you’ll quickly find that you need a BSN to open a bank account at most Dutch banks. That wouldn’t be a problem, except… 

To get a BSN, you need to register with the municipality. To register with the municipality, you need an address. And to get an address, you’ll likely need to have a job in the Netherlands — for which you need a *drumroll please* … Dutch bank account. 🫠

How do you escape this bureaucratic hellhole? By opting for a bank that lets you open a bank account without a BSN!

READ MORE | The best banks in the Netherlands for internationals

What is a BSN? Good question! BSN stands for burgerservicenummer (citizen service number). It’s a personal number allocated to anyone who registers in the Netherlands.

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Banks with Dutch IBANs that let you open an account without a BSN

There are three banks in the Netherlands that let you open a bank account with a Dutch IBAN (International Bank Account Number) before you get your BSN: bunq, ABN AMRO, and Revolut.

The catch? You have to communicate your BSN to them within 90 days. The benefit? This buys you plenty of time to get settled, make your appointment at the gemeente (town hall), and get that crucial BSN.

So, which is the one for you? Let’s see.👇

1. bunq: High-tech and packed with features 


At the Netherlands’ very own neobank, you can easily sign up in just five minutes. All you need is a form of ID and a few taps on your phone.

Though slightly more expensive than traditional banks, bunq’s many great features justify the price. Think cashback options, automatic saving, multiple sub-accounts and easy money sorting! 

The best part? If you’re already an EEA resident, you can even make your bunq account before moving to the Netherlands! Once you move, you can change your address and your account will continue to work like a charm.

2. ABN AMRO: The traditional choice 


ABN AMRO is the only traditional Dutch bank that lets you open a bank account before getting a BSN. 

If you’re looking for a bank with physical branches, then this is your best bet. Expat-friendly, their app functions perfectly in English, and their employees are self-proclaimed “expat experts”.

On top of your ID card, ABN AMRO asks you to provide a Dutch home address (which, in this economy, is not easy to find 😉). This means you can’t open your account until you have officially moved to the Netherlands.

3. Revolut: The bank for travellers


Revolut is a well-established global neobank with a reliable its Dutch branch. This means that you’ll be given your very own Dutch IBAN when opening an account here.

If you’re a frequent traveller, then Revolut is probably your best choice. Why? Not only does Revolut make it easy-peasy to send money overseas, but they also charge no cost for currency conversion!

To sign up, you’ll need a form of identification, a residence permit (if applicable), and a Dutch address. Within 90 days, you’ll have to provide your BSN.

Banks with foreign IBANs that let you open an account without a BSN

Aside from signing up to the Dutch banks listed above, there is one other way to open a bank account before getting a BSN: signing up to a bank in another European country. Here, you have the choice between N26 and Openbank, two neobanks that operates from other European countries. 

The benefit is that they’ll let you join without a BSN, and their accounts can be used in the Netherlands. The drawback is that they’ll allocate you a foreign IBAN — and some Dutch institutions like health insurance and phone providers might ask you provide a local one.

That being said: If you’re not originally from the EU, this is a great way to get a head-start on your Dutch finances as soon as you arrive. If you’re moving to the Netherlands from another EU country, you may as well stick to your home account.

4. N26: Feature-packed and effective


N26 is a Germany-based neobank, and as a result, the IBAN you’ll get from them will be German. But fear not: these are accepted across all of Europe and, most importantly, the Netherlands. 

The good thing about N26 is that, since it’s not Dutch, they will never ask you to provide a BSN. All you need to sign up is a Dutch (or European) address!

Their app is in English and hosts heaps of nifty features. The only real drawback is that N26 won’t let you use iDEAL, which is a very popular online payment method in the Netherlands.

5. Openbank: Europe’s biggest digital bank


Openbank is a digital bank that has its headquarters in beautiful España (Spain). 💃 They let you open an account without a BSN — but with a Spanish IBAN.

With just a few taps on your phone, you can open your account and take control of your Dutch financial journey, without ever having to think about that annoying little number.

The best part? During the first six months of your new account, Openbank gives you a whopping 3% interest rate on savings up to €300,000. Perfect to make those Euros grow!

Do I need a BSN in the Netherlands? 

The short answer to this question is yes. Although some banks don’t require you to provide a BSN (immediately), you will eventually need to get one after moving to the Netherlands.

Why’s that, you ask? Because you are legally required to register in the Netherlands if you live here — and you will be given your BSN at registration. 

That being said, you can think of your BSN as a sort of social security number — except that it also acts as a tax number and form of national identification. You will need it for most public, financial, and official interactions in the Netherlands. 

Do I need a Dutch bank account in the Netherlands?

You might be wondering if you can’t just continue using the bank account you had in your home country after moving to the Netherlands — and that’s a great question!

While your old bank account, just like your old phone number, can be used in the Netherlands to make purchases, it is generally recommended to open a Dutch bank account after you move to the Netherlands.

Why’s that? Because expats living and working in the Netherlands will generally need a Dutch bank account to receive their salary and pay bills. On top of that, having a Dutch bank account is a fool-proof way of making sure your local supermarket will let you buy groceries. 😉

READ MORE | Transaction declined: why don’t my bank cards work in the Netherlands?

What’s the point of opening a bank account before I have a BSN?

The problem with the BSN is that it can take a while to get. Depending on how busy your local municipality is, it can take up to 30 days to get an appointment.

This delays things such as getting a Dutch SIM card, starting employment and, of course, opening a bank account. 

READ MORE | 7 incredible things you can ACTUALLY do if you get a Dutch bank card

If you open a bank account with a bank that lets you provide your BSN at a later point, you’ll be able to get a head start on all things finance in the Netherlands. Hoera!

These banks make the complexity of moving to the Netherlands a bit more bearable. Which one will you go for?

Got a recommendation for a great bank in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments below!

Dutch bank accounts that don’t require a BSN: Frequently asked questions

Do you need a BSN to get a Dutch bank account?

Can a foreigner open a Dutch bank account?

Can I open a bank account at ABN AMRO without BSN?

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Say 'hoi' to Lyna, our Senior Writer at DutchReview! Fueled by a love for writing, social media, and all things Dutch, she joined the DR family in 2022. Since making the Netherlands her home in 2018, she has collected a BA in English Literature & Society (Hons.) and an RMA in Arts, Literature and Media (Hons.). Even though she grew up just a few hours away from the Netherlands, Lyna remains captivated by the guttural language, quirky culture, and questionable foods that make the Netherlands so wonderfully Dutch.

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