Setting up a bank account

You’ll find the Norwegian financial system to be advanced, cheap, and fast overall. The country has long gone down the route of digitization, and cash is rarely used these days. So, once you’re in the banking system everything just works.

However, getting into the Norwegian banking system as a foreigner is not so straightforward, especially for those coming from non-EU countries. Instead, you’ll find getting started is rather old-fashioned and can be very slow. It typically takes anywhere from six to eight weeks to get fully set up, with lots of paperwork and several in-person trips to the bank. Once you’ve done that, it’ll probably be the last time you have to visit a bank. Everything else is online or in an app.

The largest bank in Norway is DNB, and it’s the one generally used by expats. There is also SpareBank 1 as another option.

If you need access to Norwegian banking faster, or need accounts in several countries, I recommend using

It offers the best rates for currency conversion and allows you to open accounts in multiple denominations including Norwegian kroner (NOK).

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