Opening your first Norwegian bank account

Opening your first bank account is a strictly regulated process in Norway. This is to prevent financial fraud and money laundering.

How long does it take?

The main steps in the process are the same for all banks. The easiest way to get a bank account is to wait untill  you have your Norwegian identification number. However, it could be a long wait.

If you do not have a Norwegian identification number og D number, then it is up to the bank to apply for a D number for you. A lot of banks do unfortunatley not offer the service, and it takes longer to get a bank account with a D number. For your first account, you should expect up to 4 weeks processing time.

One reason the first account takes longer to open, is that the bank has to verify your identity. If you are in Norway for less than 6 months, you should consider whether to use your bank card from abroad instead of spending time on opening a Norwegian account. 

Another reason for the long processing time, is that your contract, card and PIN code generator (kodebrikke) will be sent by mail. Mail is only delivered every other day in Oslo, so it can be up to 7 days delivery time.

    Advice to make the process shorter

    • Make sure you hand in the right documents the first time. Call the bank and ask if you have any questions.
    • The bank will send you emails to confirm your application, and if they lack documents or need more information. Make sure you check your email inbox and spam filter regularly, so you don’t miss any messages.
    • If you choose a bank without a branch in Oslo, the postal delivery time for the contract and documents will add extra days.  
    • The first time you log in to the online bank, they send you a personal code by SMS. If you haven't registered a mobile phone number in the application, they send you the code by mail instead.

    Choosing a bank

    • Check if the bank has english online banking or not
    • Check the fees and expected processing time
    • Smaller banks often has higher establishment fee, but are quicker than larger banks when processing applications.
    • Ask the bank if you are able to hand in the documents in person, or if they have to be sent by mail.
    • Most banks offer additional services, like insurance, investment and pension schemes. Their online banks and apps will differ in design and functionality, and some have a stronger focus on business services. 

    Finansportalen is a publicly funded online service comparing prices and interest rates for bank, investment and insurance services in Norway.

    Go to finansportalen.no (in Norwegian)

    Also see their page Send money abroad to compare prices for this service (in English)

    When you get your bank account

    When you have your PIN code generator, you can log in to the online bank. From there, you order BankID, and then BankID on mobile. BankId is a form of eID, which allows to identify yourself digitally. These two processes only take a few minutes each.

    Go to Electronic ID and other digital services for more information about BankID and other types of eID.

    Register your account number with:

    1. your employer and any other income sources
    2. the Tax Administration (in case of a tax refund)

    Start using digital payment services to:

    • buy a mobile phone subscription and other services that require a credit check
    • register your card to buy tickets for public transport, streaming services etc
    • register automatic payments (eGiro, eFaktura) for services like electricity, insurance etc (see information below).

    Go to Nordic.org for an introduction to bank services and opening an account in Norway

    Good to know about bank services

    Your bank’s website will also have information about these services.

    Vipps

    A Norwegian payment app that you download and connect to your bank account. All you need is the mobile number of the person you want to send money to. It has become a commonly used service in Norway.

    Go to vipps.no for more information (in Norwegian)

    Apple Pay

    Use your iPhone to pay in shops, apps and online.

    Go to support.apple.com for information about Apple Pay

    Contactless payment (Kontaktløs betaling)

    Most bank cards have a chip that allows you to pay by “tapping” or touching your card to the payment terminal without entering your PIN code.

    Digital invoice (Efaktura)

    A commonly used service for digital invoices. The invoice is connected to your national identity number or D number. This allows you to automatically access your invoices simultaneously in any online bank.

    Direct debit agreement (Avtalegiro)

    Automatic regular payments from your account for services like electricity, news subscriptions, insurance, rent, gym membership, mortgage payments etc. You register direct debit agreements in your online bank.

    Go to avtalegiro.no for more information