New in Norway
Here you will find information on how you can access banking and insurance services in Norway, and which private insurance policies are common. In addition, we have course material for you who will hold a course in personal finance for refugees.
This is how you become a bank customer in Norway
To become a customer at a bank in Norway, you must present valid identification and other documentation that the bank requires. You must also be able to explain what you will use the bank services for. Here you get information about various banking services and what documentation and information the bank must have from you when you want to access banking services.
There are many types of banking services available in Norway. What we call basic banking services are in principle available to everyone living in Norway, regardless of citizenship. Basic banking services mean a bank account, a payment card without a picture (debit card) and access to online banking. After a risk-based assessment, the bank will also be able to offer other types of services such as loans, credit cards, BankID etc.
The bank must have knowledge of the customer
The reason why the bank asks for valid identification, other types of documentation and asks what you need banking services for is that, according to the Money Laundering Act, banks have a duty to prevent the laundering of proceeds from criminal activities. This means, among other things, that the banks must acquire a good knowledge of the customer and his/her use of banking services - the "know your customer" principle.
To become a customer in a bank, you must be able to show a valid identification document. Which identification documents the banks require and accept to confirm the customer's identity will be risk-based, and depend, among other things, on which banking services the customer requests.
Valid identification can be:
- Valid Norwegian passport
- Valid foreign passport
- Valid foreigner's passport
- Valid travel document for refugees
- Valid Norwegian national ID card
- Valid national ID card from an EU/EEA country
National ID cards issued by an EU/EEA country can, after a risk-based assessment, be considered valid identification in certain cases.
Please note that the bank may request additional documentation related to identity before they can establish a customer relationship with you.
You must also be able to state your residential address.
Need for banking services
You must be able to explain why you need banking services and how you want to use them. It may be that you want to deposit salary or other income into an account, pay rent and bills, transfer money to others or save money. The bank can ask where the money comes from.
There are different types of bank accounts, the most important of which are current accounts and savings accounts. Normally, for example, salary is deposited into the current account, and it is this that you deduct from when you use a payment card (see below). The savings account gives a higher interest rate than the current account, and therefore it is wise to transfer the money you do not intend to use immediately to the savings account. You can transfer money back and forth between the various accounts.
With a payment card, you can withdraw cash from ATMs, pay for goods in shops, and it can be used for online shopping.
The banks issue different types of payment cards to their customers. The most common are debit cards where the amount you shop or withdraw cash for is deducted directly from your bank account. You will not be able to withdraw cash from the card or use it to pay if you do not have money in the account. However, it can be agreed with the bank that there should be limited credit on the account to which the payment card is linked.
There are also credit cards, which are payment cards where the bank lends money to the customer, and the customer can buy goods and services without having access to cash or debiting the account immediately.
Online banking and mobile banking
To access online banking and mobile banking, you must have a BankID or access other login methods such as a code tag etc. Through the online bank, you can, among other things, see how much money you have in your account (balance), what you have spent and received from money in your account (transaction overview), transfer money to your own or other people's accounts and pay bills.
With mobile banking, you can quickly and easily check your balance and carry out other banking services on your mobile phone or tablet.
Through the online bank, you can also enter into an agreement on AvtaleGiro and eFaktura. When using Avtalegiro, you can agree that bills from specific creditors, for example your electricity supplier, are automatically deducted from your account. Through eFaktura, you are offered to have the bills from the creditors you choose presented in the online bank.
Transfer of money to other countries
Once you have created a bank account, you can safely and securely transfer money to an account abroad. You can do this by logging into your online bank.
To send money to an account abroad, you must have:
- Recipient's account - for Europe and some countries outside Europe, an IBAN is required. IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is an international standard for bank account numbers.
- Recipient bank's BIC/SWIFT address. BIC stands for Bank Identifier Code and is a code that identifies a specific bank.
- Recipient's name and address
- Currency type you want to pay in
- Information to the Currency Register for amounts over NOK 100,000
Note that after an assessment of each individual customer, the bank has the right to set restrictions relating to foreign transactions.
BankID is a personal electronic ID card for secure identification and signing online.
In the physical world, you identify yourself with a passport or bank card with a photo. In the online world, you can use your BankID to legitimize who you are. In the physical world, you use a pen when you sign a contract. In the electronic world, you will be able to use your BankID to sign documents and messages electronically.
With BankID, you can sign documents electronically so that you do not have to attend in person or send signed documents in the post. Below, the BankID is used for identification with the bank and the conclusion of agreements with the bank. You can use the BankID in several banks. In addition, BankID can be used when using a number of other private and public services, for example for applying for a nursery place, bidding round for the purchase of a home, registration of documents and more.
To get a BankID, you must be 15 years or older. BankID can still be issued to persons between the ages of 13 and 15, provided that there is parental consent. However, some banks have chosen not to issue BankIDs to people under the age of 18.
The digital payment service Vipps is a service where you can transfer money easily via your smartphone, instead of through the online bank or at a bank office. A link is made between the account and the mobile number, so that you can pay to the recipient's phone number instead of the account number. Payment is made via the Vipps mobile app.
You must have established a customer relationship with a bank before you can use Vipps and you must be approved, registered and have your identity verified before you become a customer. You must be over 15 years old. Certain amount limits for use also apply.
Please note this about payment cards with photo and BankID
BankID and payment cards with a picture are typical services where the banks set stricter requirements for the identification documents than when offering basic banking services. To get a BankID, e.g. as a general rule, you present a valid Norwegian passport, documents equivalent to a Norwegian passport, or a foreign passport.
In certain cases, the bank may refuse you banking services
The bank can refuse you banking services if:
- You cannot identify yourself with valid identification, and otherwise do not present other documentation required by the bank.
- The bank believes that you do not provide sufficient information about why you want to open a bank account and get other banking services.
- The bank breaks the law or regulations by offering you banking services.
- The bank can also refuse to provide you with banking services if you have previously acted dishonestly towards the bank.
Prepare for a meeting with your bank:
- Consider what kind of documents you must bring with you/send to the bank.
- You must be able to speak to those who work at the bank yourself, or with the help of an interpreter.
- The bank will ask you where your money comes from and what you will use the bank services for.
This is how you become an insurance customer in Norway, and insurances that are common to have
With private insurance, you don't have to pay even if you have a fire in your home, are exposed to theft or a car accident. All customers pay into their insurance company and receive compensation if an injury were to occur. This is a system built on community and trust.
There are many different types of insurance that are often grouped together under the term, or the word, non-life insurance. This applies, for example, to home insurance, contents insurance and car insurance. The price of the insurance policies varies between the companies, and the insurance policies that cover the most are often the most expensive. The most important thing is to insure what has the greatest value.
It is common for customers to pay a deductible, but these are small amounts compared to, for example, replacing an entire house after a fire.
Prices may vary from year to year. It is therefore advisable to check the prices at regular intervals. When it comes to household contents insurance, you can, for example, check Finans Norge's household contents calculator to find out more about how you can insure your valuables.
To compare insurance prices, you can use Finansportalen. Research both price and terms before you decide. You can buy insurance policies individually from different insurance companies or have many insurance policies combined in one insurance company.
Remember that the excess on insurance can vary both from company to company, and also from claim to claim.
The entire system of insurance is built around honesty and trust. If someone cheats on the insurance, they risk both being reported to the police and ending up in prison.
Most insurance policies are voluntary. But some insurance policies are particularly important to have in order. Home and contents insurance is something almost everyone in Norway buys. Fire insurance is very important to have, because otherwise you won't be able to replace your valuables if it starts to burn.
Home insurance covers the damages that most often occur in homes and holiday homes. Natural damage insurance and liability and legal aid insurance are also included in this insurance. If you do not own your own house or apartment, you do not need home insurance, but only contents insurance. Villa insurance is best suited for detached houses. In addition to contents, such as furniture and other equipment, this insurance also covers the building itself. Check with an insurance company whether you have the right insurance.
Insurance of your assets at home
The contents insurance applies to:
- Economic loss due to fire
- Natural damage from, for example, storms and floods is also covered
- Water damage. This applies to damage that occurs suddenly when a pipe breaks or leaks. But also water damage in connection with equipment such as a washing machine, hot water tank or dishwasher.
- Food in the freezer in the event of a power cut.
- Loss and damage as a result of burglary and theft.
- Legal aid.
Familiarize yourself with the safety regulations
The safety regulations apply to important safety measures that you must take care of. Examples of safety regulations are the requirement that doors in the home must be locked, and that the home must have a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors. If this is not followed, you may risk that the compensation is reduced or that you do not receive compensation at all.
A car insurance can be made up of several individual policies:
- Liability insurance: Liability insurance is insurance that all car owners in this country must buy when the car is registered. It is not optional to have this insurance. The insurance covers all damage the car can cause to other people and things.
- Part-casco: Comprehensive insurance covers fire, theft, vandalism in connection with theft and glass damage. This insurance is preferably used on used cars that are over 10 years old.
- Casco: Comprehensive insurance is an insurance policy that, in addition to partial comprehensive insurance, also covers damage to your own car in the event of a collision and overtaking and other mishaps and accidents.
Remember that you must have your travel insurance in order when you travel. The authorities also emphasize that people must remember to buy travel insurance. It is the most important travel advice.
The travel insurance usually includes the following:
- Luggage: Covers damage to and loss of luggage due to, for example, theft, robbery or vandalism. Also includes loss of tickets, passports and money.
- Motion sickness: Covers necessary expenses due to acute illness or accident. Includes expenses for doctors, medicines and hospital stays.
- Travel accident: Covers damage caused by accidents. For those over 70, there are restrictions on the sums in the event of death and disability.
- Return home in case of illness: Covers necessary transport home if you or someone in your immediate family is affected by sudden and serious illness, accident or death.
- Extreme-holiday and possible exceptions: If you go on an extreme holiday or take a high risk, the insurance may not apply. There are often exceptions when it comes to risk sports such as diving, riding etc. Check the conditions carefully.
- Credit card: You are only covered by the travel insurance linked to a credit card if you can document that you have paid at least 50 per cent of the transport costs with the card. Credit card insurance is less suitable if the trip is divided. You can then end up in a situation where you are only insured for parts of the trip.
- Long-term holiday: If you are going to be away for more than 45 days, you should be aware that most insurance policies do not apply for that long. You will probably need to purchase an extension of the policy. It is also important to check whether the insurance applies to the area you are going to.
Personal insurance and health insurance
There are many different types of personal insurance. You can buy personal insurance that applies to death, disability, critical illness, or any of these. Insurance that provides compensation in the event of death due to illness or accident is called life insurance. If you want to secure yourself financially in the event of disability, there are insurance policies for this. It is normal that you then have to fill in a health declaration form.
Other types of insurance
There are a number of other insurances than those mentioned here, but it is important to think carefully about what you really need. In this overview, we have only written about some of the most important insurance policies. Look at the websites of the insurance companies to find out what they offer. Also feel free to contact the insurance companies to find out more about the various insurances available.
If you are employed, the employer often covers certain insurances. In addition, membership of a trade union may also include insurance.
Introductory course in personal finance
Here you will find course material for holding courses for refugees. The topic is financial planning and spending, as well as the use of banking and insurance services in Norway.
Please note: The course material is only in norwegian language.