Denmark is rapidly becoming a cashless society. Not only are cards the most popular way to pay for goods and services, the use of a mobile phone app to make payments is also growing in popularity. There are a couple of apps on the market: the most widely used as of 2015 is MobilePay. While the app was created by Danske Bank, users of any bank in Denmark can download and use it. Another is called Swipp, which all bank users can use. Dankort is also changing their system to make it possible to simply swipe the card over a ‘station,’ thereby debiting the amount of any purchase.
In order to open a bank account in Denmark, you should take with you to the bank of your choice:
- Your CPR number
- A form of identification (passport, national identity card, etc.)
- Proof of address in Denmark, and
- Either a work contract or letter showing you have been admitted to an educational institution.
Accompanying spouses who do not have a job and are not enrolled in an educational program can open an account with their employed spouse.
While you will be issued with a cash/debit card when you open your account, most banks will only issue to individuals who can show a steady stream of income or other financial means what is called a Visa Dankort, which functions as a debit card in Denmark and as a credit card abroad. The Dankort is accepted universally in Denmark, in contrast to purely Visa or MasterCard debit cards, which are accepted by the majority of – but not all – merchants.
It is difficult to get a Dankort when first moving to Denmark, as you have to prove that the money coming into your account is sufficient to pay your expenses. It can be especially difficult for international students to obtain one.