Opening a bank account without a BSN: How does it work?

Opening a bank account without a BSN: How does it work?


Moving to a new country comes with its challenges. For expats relocating to the Netherlands, one significant hurdle has been needing to have a Citizen Service Number (BSN) to open a bank account. At ABN AMRO, it’s now possible to open a bank account without a BSN. But how does this actually work, and what can you expect?

Open a bank account with ABN AMRO today

What is a BSN and why is it important?

The Citizen Service Number (in Dutch: burgerservicenummer or BSN) is a unique personal number that is used for contact between citizens and the government. All banks in the Netherlands are required by law to have the BSN of their customers. Traditionally, a BSN was a prerequisite for opening a bank account, posing a significant challenge for newcomers.

Opening an account without BSN

Expats can now easily start their banking journey in the Netherlands without a BSN by using the ABN AMRO app. The prerequisites are straightforward: a valid identity document, proof of a Dutch residency address and a Tax or Fiscal Identification Number (TIN / FIN) from another country. The process can be done within 10 minutes and you’ll immediately receive the IBAN of your bank account.

Debit card and mobile banking app

You will receive your debit card within a few days after your onboarding as a client. You can use your debit card to access your bank account in the ABN AMRO app and Internet Banking - and of course, to make payments and to activate Apple Pay and Google Pay on your mobile device. You can even use your debit card to check into public transportation in the Netherlands.

Timelines for providing your BSN

It’s important to understand that while opening a bank account without a BSN is possible, providing your BSN later is still a legal requirement. Make sure you provide your BSN within 90 days of opening your account. Otherwise, your account will be blocked. Almost always, the 90 days is more than enough to receive your BSN from your municipality.

Experts in expats

For over 25 years, ABN AMRO has been a trusted financial partner for expats, diplomats, civil servants and international organisations. They provide products and advice when it comes to payments, savings, insurance, credit cards, mortgages, loans and investments.

All the expat advisors at ABN AMRO are fluent in English and their website provides a wide range of (financial) tips and information for expats in English.



Leave a comment