A local bank account and bank card (debit card) may be handy to receive your income, pay in shops and make payments for rent, utilities, etc.
Opening a local bank account can be done online depending on your nationality, and in all cases at least one face-to-face meeting with a bank employee is needed to make the account fully operational.
Your employer will need your bank account information in order to pay your salary.
Choose a bank that has special expat services for internationals in Belgium.
If you do not have a Belgian residence permit yet:
- Contact a bank (online or in a branch) with the following:
- your national ID card or passport,
- a copy/scan of your rental contract in Belgium (lease contract) if already available (otherwise a document confirming your last legal address before coming to Belgium),
- a document confirming that you are coming to live in Belgium (your work contract for example).
- Once all the documents have been submitted to the bank, count on 2 working days for the account to be set-up and active, and about a week for the bank card to arrive.
If you already have a Belgian residence permit
- Contact a bank (online or in a branch) with your Belgian residence permit.
- Count on 1 to 2 working days for the account to be set-up and active, and about a week for the bank card to arrive.
The bank will give, or send, you a CRS self-certification document, which they will ask you to fill in and sign, to determine your tax status.
In order to use the bank account and card, money will have to be in the account. This can be from your employer or by bank transfer or deposit made by you.
Bancontact payment cards are very common in Belgium. As of July 2022 every store is is now required have one option for electronic payment. This could be via Payconiq (a payment app connected to Bancontact) or a Bancontact card. Sometimes stores will only accept these methods and not mastercard or visa
Supplier, channels and tools
Choose a bank that has special services for internationals in Belgium (Expats). These Belgian banks have a specialised Expat desk:
Last update: 16/09/2022
- Internationals in Belgium wanting to open a bank account
- HR of a company employing internationals in Belgium
- Relocator assisting internationals