Current facets (Pre-Master)
Euro: the official currency
Since 2002 the Euro has been the official currency in the Netherlands as well as in many other countries in Europe. Introduction of the Euro has simplified travelling and paying in other European countries. The euro has seven types of banknotes denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euro. In addition there are several types of coins: 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, plus 1 and 2 euro coins. In the beginning there were also 1 and 2 euro cents, but these are no longer used. As a result, amounts are rounded to the nearest 5 cents (for example, € 2.77 becomes € 2.75).
The most common place to change money is a bank, a post office or a Border Exchange Office (GWK) (these are mostly available at train stations, airports and tourist spots: see the following link (= in Dutch). The exchange rate at all these facilities is the same, only the commission charge might differ. Check the current exchange rate (in Dutch).
Europeans often use the Pin and Chip systems for making payments. By using a chip in combination with a 4-digit PIN code, you can pay in nearly all shops and you can also withdraw cash from ATM machines. By contrast, not all shops accept credit card any more.
To manage your day-to-day finances, you'll need a current account. To open a bank account you must visit the bank in person and bringing along a proof of identification and your Citizen service number (BSN). Sometimes you also need to bring along a proof of regular income (such as a declaration of employment or a pay slip).