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Bank Cards & Digital Wallet
The Netherlands (including the North) is moving towards a cashless society. Hence, bank cards are widely used everywhere, even at fresh market stalls. So make sure that you always have your bank card on hand.
PIN cards (Dutch: Pinpas) / Debit Card
A PIN card is a debit card that is linked to your personal bank account and comes with a secret Personal Identification Number (PIN) of 4-6 numbers. This is the most common card to be used on payment devices in restaurants, shops, markets, and at ATM machines.
Keep in mind that most banks have a daily transaction limit for security reasons, which you can always change via the mobile app. So if you’re planning on a shopping spree, make sure that you stay below the daily limit, or raise the daily limit via their mobile app.
Some banks also offer to add pinpas to a digital wallet (such as Apple Pay or Google Pay). So you only need your smartphone whenever you need to make a payment, and you can keep your pinpas in your wallet. You need to activate your digital cards manually. Go to your bank’s website for more information on how to activate your debit card in your digital wallet.
Credit cards are not commonly used in the Netherlands, and most places do not accept them because most payment systems here are not compatible with credit cards. Its most common use is probably to pay online, however keep in mind that this is not always applicable. For example, you cannot pay your house rent using a credit card.
Still need cash anyway? Don’t worry, ATM still exists!
ATMs from a specific bank might charge you extra if your bank account was not issued by the respective bank. However, Geldmaat ATMs are getting more common in the Netherlands and you can use any cards issued by Dutch banks (and some international banks – but do check with the issuing bank) without any additional cost.
Keep in mind that not all ATMs accept all cards; you will need to check the logos (e.g. Maestro or VISA) on your card and on the ATM to determine if they are compatible. The PIN card is still the most commonly used card in the Netherlands for ATMs.
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