< Back What is the local currency? What denominations does it come in? What is the best way to exchange currency? What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)? Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash. By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid? What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it? Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages? Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country? What are typical banking hours? Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock? Is there any other money information that might help me? Top Top Top Top Top Top Top Top Top Top Top Top What is the local currency? The euro (€) What denominations does it come in? Notes (euro): 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Coins (euro): 1 and 2, Coins (eurocents): 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 What is the best way to exchange currency? Try Foreign Exchange Offices, many are open on Sundays What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)? Cash Cash cards (Proton cards), Debit Cards (Mister Cash/Bancontact), Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, American Express). Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash. While major credit cards are very popular, there are still many places in Brussels that do not accept credit cards. Since you can never be sure which places these are, be sure to carry a small amount of cash at all times. For quick withdrawals, a bank will usually have an ATM machine. By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid? Pre-authorized debit is an efficient way of paying electricity, gas and water bills. By using this method, your bills are automatically deducted from your bank account. The various utility companies and your bank can help you with the arrangements. Internet banking has also become widely used in the past years for paying bills and managing your account. Additionally, a bank transfer/payment slip (red and white) – found at the bottom of almost all Belgian bills – is filled in, signed and handed in at your bank before the due date of the bill. What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it? To open a bank account, you will need a passport or Belgian ID card as proof of identity. You do not need a permanent address in order to open a bank account. Although it is possible to open a bank account online, most banks will want you to make an appointment at your local branch. After you open a bank account, you will receive a Bancontact/Mister Cash card and a PIN number. A bank account can be opened at any time, but it is advisable to open one sooner rather than later. Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages? Yes. Most banks have an English version of their website and offer the possibility of managing your bank account online. Several banks offer services for expats such as tailored information and bank statements in English. Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country? No restrictions that are known. What are typical banking hours? Typical bank hours Monday through Friday are 9am until 4.30pm. Most banks close during lunchtime. Banks are closed on Sundays and holidays. Some banks are open on Saturday morning. Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock? Yes, ATM’s are usually found wherever there is a bank. Many banks have dispenser lobbies that are open after closing time. You’ll need to swipe your card to get in. In some cases this service is only available for customers of a specific bank. Is there any other money information that might help me? The most commonly used card in Belgium is the Bancontact/Mister Cash card, which is a card linked to your current bank account. This card is accepted at department stores, supermarkets, gas stations and restaurants. This card is a good complement to other cards, as there are many places that do not accept credit cards. Useful Links Belfius Bank www.belfius.be BNP Paribas Fortis www.bnpparibasfortis.com Citibank www.citibank.be ING www.ing.be KBC www.kbc.be IMPORTANT NOTE: Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Please contact your closest embassy or consulate for confirmation.