Depending on the length of your studies in Bergen, you may want to open a bank account, or just use your bank card from home.
Can you get a Norwegian bank account?
You can only open a Norwegian bank account once you have recieved your Norwegian National Identity Number ("personnummer") or D-number. If you will be living in Norway for 6 months or more you can apply for a Norwegian National Identity Number, if you plan to live in Norway less than 6 months, or if you are a Nordic citzen, you may be assigned a D-number (dummy number) instead.
It may take some time to go through the process of being assigned a national identity number or D-number. This means you may not have a Norwegian bank account for several months, and you may need to plan accordingly.
Can you use your home-based bank or credit card in Norway?
You will find ATMs almost everywhere in towns and cities and even relatively small establishments generally have a card terminal. Foreign credit cards are widely accepted, however it is worth noting that some grocery shops and supermarkets do not accept foreign credit cards, only debit cards. VISA and Mastercards are accepted everywhere. Most credit and debit card terminals in Norway offer payment with the use of a pin code although contactless payment is on the rise. If you do not currently use a pin code with your credit card check with your credit card provider to see if it is possible to apply for one. While you can use a signature to authorize a credit card payment, it is far more common and convienent to use a pin code when paying in Norway.
Do Norwegian banks charge banking fees?
Norwegian banks generally have annual VISA card fees and ATM fees for each withdrawl. Online-only banks may not charge ATM fees. Check with individual banks to determine the fees associated with their accounts.
Benefits of opening a Norwegian bank account
There are many benefits to having a Norwegian bank account, especially if you will be staying in Norway for an extended time period.
- If you get a job, Norwegian employers generally use direct deposit to deliver your paycheck into your bank account.
- In Norway, the most convenient way to pay bills is online through your account, including rent, mobile phone, etc. It is even easy to transfer money to friends or buy used goods from private individuals and transfer funds directly into their bank account.
- While having a bank and using online banking is very convenient for buying used goods or sharing costs with friends, services like Vipps (an app attached to your bank account and phone number) make it even easier. But you need a Norwegian bank account and Norwegian phone number to use Vipps.
- If you have a Norwegian account, you can avoid constantly being charged currency conversion fees from your home-base bank account.
- Some banks may offer deals for students (such as fee-free accounts).
To open a Norwegian Bank account
- You need your Norwegian National ID Number or D-number.
- You need a residential address in Norway.
- You need a valid passport.
- You may need to fill out an application form with the bank and follow specific bank instructions.
- You need to get a Bank ID (see below) from a bank, this is usually done at the same time as opening a bank account.
Bank ID is a national system used by many different industries throughout Norway. It allows individuals to sign official documents, login to certain online services, etc. You can obtain a Bank ID at a bank with your passport and D-Number/National Identity Number. Bank ID is necessary for online banking.
The following is a list of some of the Norwegian banks. If you plan to open a bank account in Norway, you may wish to explore the websites for these banks. Many of websites are in Norwegian, using a browser with a translator extension may be helpful. Click here if you need information about adding a translator to your webbrowser or want tips about navigating Bergen's online world.
- Sbank (online-only)
- Bank Norwegian (online-only)
- DinBANK (online-only)
- Sparebanken Vest (available on Norway's westcoast, offers English-language web browsing)
- DNB Bank (offers English-language web browsing)
- Danske Bank
Study Bergen is not sponsered by any of the above banks. This list is not comprehensive, suggestions for edits may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.