Norway shops and restaurants accept debit and most major credit cards, particularly in areas prone to tourists. Still, in some areas, a few fuel stations and smaller establishments may not be set up to accept cards. That makes it wise to carry a small amount of cash if you’re someone new to Norway.
Once you sign on for an account with a bank, you’ll receive a debit card. You can also choose BankAxept, one of Norway’s most favored forms of card payment, with the funds drawn from your banking account.
Please visit kredittkortinfo.no/bankaxept/ for a guide detailing the history and advantages of BankAxept.
If you must pay in cash, using the local currency is always better. The Norwegian Krone is used in the country. These are not interchangeable when traveling through other Scandinavian countries like Denmark and Sweden.
The colorful banknotes depict the natural landscape and top architecture on the back, with luminaries flanking the front. In Norway, the preference is to use cards above anything else but to carry local cash if you have trouble when trying to pay with a particular merchant.
Types Of Payment Methods in Norway
Roughly “8 out of 10 transactions” in Norway are handled using BankAxept. A card that’s favored for making purchases using a contactless terminal instead of swiping or inserting the card and taking money directly from an individual or business bank account.
There are no fees. The only requirement is to sign and show ID plus have sufficient funds in your account. While this method is readily taken virtually anywhere in the country, you should always carry a little local currency if you run into an establishment that can’t accept card payments.
The ideal scenario is to exchange a small amount in an area that charges higher fees to suffice until you can get to an ATM machine where the fees are reasonable to pull NOK directly. Norway is strict about the currency they accept for exchange. The bills need to be undamaged and clean, virtually perfect.
As a rule, Norway prefers to be cashless, with the country’s reputation as a “digital-first payment society.” So, if you’re a resident or someone striving to become a resident in a region where only “four percent of the transactions made consists of cash or coins.” Here are the favored payment methods in Norway.
Debit and credit bank cards are the country’s most widely used payment options, accounting for as much as approximately “90 percent POS payments and 50 percent of online transactions.” The indication is that card penetration in the country is high, seeing “1.6 credit and 2.7 debit cards per capita as of 2020.”
In Norway, BankAxept is the country’s debit card payment method accepted by most merchants and vastly used by the consumer.
The cards issued under this brand are cobranded under MasterCard and Visa, allowing international usage. If you do send money abroad using a Norway card, you can expect considerable fees and charges plus delays based on how it’s sent and where it’s going.
The next most favored payment method is bank transfers, boasting of accounting for “a third of all payments in Norway this year.” Some bank solutions are on the path to allowing the consumers to make bank transfers directly from a banking account online without the need for a card.
It’s noted the average for Norwegians as of 2019 was approximately “141 from one account to the next per capita.” Norway is not an EU member but is a SEPA zone member.
The indication is that bank transfers between the “35 SEPA countries” are as expensive and take the same amount of time as they would for a domestic transfer if the transfer uses euros instead of a local currency.
That implies that cash transferred from countries like Poland or the UK to or from Norway done with local currency will involve comparable transfer times and national bank fees.
Norway is mobile-forward, considering it’s “96 percent smartphone penetration and 99 percent internet.” The mobile payment platform is expanding considerably in Norway, with “Vipps” being the leading mobile payment method.
The app, originally developed by Norway’s largest bank, DNB, is premium with mobile money transfers. It’s available for customers with any bank in the country with usage for “shopping, peer-to-peer transfers, and online bill payment.”
The indication is that roughly “80 percent of the country residents have used the app once or more.”
Buy Now Pay Later
Other standard payment methods in Norway involve consumer credit solutions. These allow a customer to buy at any time but make the payments over a designated period of time, usually with no interest charges.
This is beneficial when you make a large purchase; the payments are broken down into small increments.
PayPal has a strong presence in Norway despite Vipps taking a large portion of the digital wallet platform. Customers maintain steady PayPal use, with up to “7 percent of the audience using the method for online shopping.”
That might seem small, but it’s vital to anyone who wants to make international purchases. Where Vipps and other local payments could be declined, PayPal remains popular for “e-commerce across borders.”
The debit card and BankAxept
Debit cards are among the country’s most favored options for every purpose. It discourages creating debt, which Norway’s government tries to encourage every consumer to keep within a certain threshold.
With BankAxept, you can use it with a credit or debit card, but a debit card will only allow a purchase if you have the funds in your banking account; the purchase or services will be declined otherwise.
The customer enjoys a semblance of control over their spending habits. The only downside is providing sensitive details to merchants. That means ensuring those receiving the information are reputable, legitimate providers before disclosing the details, particularly when shopping online.
The cashless method
Norway has the lowest cash usage globally, making up roughly “3 to 4 percent of all transactions in the country.” Because of this, ATM usage is also declining, with the average cash withdrawal being roughly “8 for each customer annually.”
Receiving and sending cash from Norway is among the least favored methods for transferring money. The first difficulty is finding a transfer service that will allow receiving and sending in your specific regions.
Another challenge is the delays; you could be forced to send using the currency of the country you’re sending from. A recipient will need to wait as long as several days or more for the funds to arrive.
BankAxept is a banking system in Norway that lets consumers use any debit or credit card as a payment method for virtually any merchant in the country. Varied banks and their systems can communicate with each other via this platform.
Because of this, you can withdraw funds from any banking institution ATM regardless of where you do your personal banking and use it for payment using any terminal.
You can only obtain cards with the BankAxept brand from a Norwegian bank. This makes the choice only beneficial to those living in the country. Tourists would have little use for the cards.