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How to open a bank account in Norway

Making a move to Norway? Here’s everything you need to know about opening a bank account.

5 min read

Year after year, Norway tops quality-of-life rankings for its excellent healthcare, education, work-life balance, and great outdoors. It’s also one of the most expensive countries in the world. So, if you’re fantasizing about living the Norwiegen dream, you’ll need to have some cash on hand and, ideally, a bank account to put it in. Here, we offer practical tips and advice on how to open a bank account in Norway.

What do I get with a Norwegian bank account?

In Norway, a bank account for deposits and withdrawals is called a bankkonto. A bankkonto comes with an International Bank Account Number (IBAN), which allows you to transfer money for free between other accounts in the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA—that includes every country in Europe, even those outside of the EU.

Most Norwegien banks are relatively modern and offer online banking. While it won’t cost you anything to open an account, banks may charge a monthly fee to maintain it. Bear in mind that Norwegian employers will only make salary payments to a domestic account, so it’s worth opening a bank account with a Norwiegan IBAN even if you already have an account in another SEPA country. 

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Am I eligible to open a bank account in Norway?

Technically, anyone who is 18 or over residing in the country with a valid passport is eligible to open a bank account in Norway. However, it may be more complicated for non-residents and non-EU nationals. For starters, banks require proof of address in Norway. You’ll also need a Norwegian National Identity Number—issued to Norwiegan nationals or those planning to stay a while, or a D-Number—issued to those planning to stay less than six months. Some banks may even ask for a letter of recommendation from your current bank to ensure that you’re not too much of a risk to take on as a client. Lastly, you’ll need a Bank ID to open an account, which must be applied for in-person at a branch. Students can sometimes get around these requirements with proof of enrollment in a Norwegian university.   

What do I need to open a bank account in Norway?

Every bank has different requirements for opening an account, so it’s worth verifying every bank’s individual requirements. At minimum, it’s a good idea to have all of the following documents on hand:

  • Passport
  • Passport photo
  • Norwegian National Identity Number or D-Number
  • Proof of Norwegian address (utility bill or rental contract)
  • Proof of employment or school enrollment

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What’s the typical process? Can I open a bank account online?

If you want to go the traditional-bank route, it’s a good idea to check out different options to compare fees and costs associated with maintaining the account. Once you have all your documents together, it’s best to make an appointment at a branch. There, you can apply directly for your Bank ID and open the bank account all in one go, provided you have already secured a place to live and have your Norwegian National Identity Number or D-Number on hand. Once you have your Bank ID, you can also opt to open an account online. Both processes will require some wait time for your paperwork and debit card to arrive in the mail. 

But let’s say you want to land in Norway with a bank account all set up? Then you might want to consider opening an account with a mobile bank. You can do the whole process on your smartphone with just your passport and proof of residence. Download an app, submit your documents, verify your identity, done. However, it’s important to be choosy when it comes to online banks.

Only real banks have a banking license

Many new companies in Norway and across Europe offer easy access to online banking services. Some even set you up with an IBAN and a debit card. But because these companies don’t have a banking license, your money is not as protected as it would be with a licensed bank. 

To get a banking license in Norway, institutions have to get approval from the Norwegian Central Bank, the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway, and the European Central Bank. Once licensed, a bank can offer more advanced banking services like overdraft and lending. Most importantly, a banking license ensures the protection of your data and money—up to €100,000 under an EU-wide deposit guarantee scheme. With more than eight million customers in 24 markets and growing fast, N26 is the first licensed bank in Europe built for the digital generation, allowing customers to bank right from their smartphones while still offering them the protection they deserve. 

How to open an account with N26

How to open a Norwegian bank account online with N26

  1. Confirm your email, personal details, and address. 
  2. Select the type of account you want—Standard (free) or a premium option like Smart, You, or Metal with benefits including Spaces, Travel Insurance, and partner perks.
  3. Verify your identity and connect your smartphone to your new account. 

Signing up takes in minutes and you can start making contactless payments from your electronic debit Mastercard right away. 

Your money at N26 

With N26, opening a Norwegian bank account couldn’t be easier. Standard accounts are free, while N26 You, Business You and N26 Metal are premium accounts that come packed with perks like budgeting tools and sub-accounts. Plus, your N26 debit Mastercard is ideal for withdrawing cash for free when abroad, and our Wise integration means you’ll always get the real exchange rate for international transfers. And while other banks sleep, N26 Customer Support is at your service, from 7 a.m CET to 11 p.m. CET seven days per week, including holidays. 

FAQs

Can I open a bank account in Norway as a non-resident?

Yes, you can open a bank account in Norway as a non-resident, but there are limitations on the type of bank account. It has to be a savings account, and you have to be an EU citizen or a citizen of a country such as Canada, Iceland, Japan, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Singapore. The bank will hold a mandatory minimum deposit of €100,000 (in Norwegian Kroner). The account application process goes through regulatory scrutiny and may take up to six weeks for approval.

How long does it take to open a bank account?

The time it takes to open a bank account varies. It depends on many factors, including the country you're in, the bank you choose, the type of account you're opening, and if you have all of the necessary documentation ready.

If you visit a bank branch in person, you can open a bank account on the same day. Online applications might take a few minutes and you usually can start using your new bank account right away.

Can I open an account in several countries?

Yes, it's generally possible for individuals to open bank accounts in multiple countries. Before opening accounts in multiple countries, make sure to comply with all relevant regulations. Some countries have anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations and need additional documentation and information when opening accounts for non-residents.

By N26

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