When you’re in business, it pays to know the financial landscape of the countries you operate in. And the Netherlands has one of the most business-friendly landscapes out there.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur wanting to start a new business or a full-fledged company looking to scale operations in Europe, chances are you’ll need to transfer money from the UK to the Netherlands on a regular basis.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about sending and receiving payments from the Netherlands, including how long it takes, how much it costs, and more. Let’s get into it!
Global transfers in the Netherlands
The Netherlands offers a very favourable environment for business. It was an early adopter of digital banking which has supported economic growth by enabling people and businesses to transact easily.
The Netherlands has used the Euro since 1 January 2002 when bank notes and coins were first introduced into circulation. By being part of the eurozone, the Netherlands benefits from financial infrastructure that makes sending and receiving payments easier across many European countries.
The Netherlands is financially progressive – something which has long been in its DNA. It both participates in and designs initiatives that support being able to easily send and receive payments. For example:
As the Netherlands is part of the EU, they can participate in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). This means that transferring to banks in other SEPA countries is simply like sending to another account in the Netherlands.
Instant Payments is a Dutch initiative that enables real-time transfers between participating banks in the Netherlands and the Eurozone, 24 hours a day, all year round (making “working days” a thing of the past for financial activity).
Countries eligible for payments
You can send payments from the Netherlands to most countries around the world.
Along with transfers to SEPA countries, the Netherlands is also part of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) network. This means they can transact with up to 190 countries around the world.
Which specific countries you can send money to depends on the transfer service you use – we'll talk about the different options available a bit later. But taking 3S Money as an example, you can make and receive payments from more than 190 countries.
The official currency of the Netherlands is the Euro. At 3S Money, we always recommend sending your transfer in the local currency of the destination country.
However, as the Netherlands is part of the SWIFT network, you’re able to transfer in many different currencies. The exact currencies available will depend on the provider you use, but 3S Money offers 65+ different currencies.
Another way to transfer money to and from the Netherlands is via a local Netherlands IBAN or International Bank Account Number. Issued by 3S in your company name, it allows your business to send and collect high-value payments wherever in the world you operate – without the hassle of opening local bank accounts.
Depending on your provider, you’ll have lots of choice of payment type for your transfer to the Netherlands. Most accept credit and debit cards, and other choices will include bank transfers and even direct debits.
Different ways to send payments to the Netherlands
You can send payments to individuals or businesses in the Netherlands in various ways, including via your bank or online transfer services. Let’s look at each of these in more detail.
You can ask a bank you have an account with to arrange a transfer. This is a popular choice because of the ease, comfort, and convenience it offers. But it can be expensive. Here’s why:
Banks usually charge a fee to arrange and process money transfers (for UK banks, this varies from £20-£40).
Some banks may also charge a percentage of the total amount you’re transferring (as much as 3-4%).
Traditional banks use their own foreign exchange (FX) rates which might end up costing customers up to 5% more.
It’s important to remember that all banks are different. Check your account’s terms and conditions to find out exactly what fees they charge for international transfers. If they charge a lot, consider an alternative. Speaking of which...
Online banks or Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs)
Electronic Money Institutions (known as EMIs) function like banks, but they don’t have physical locations. 3S Money, for instance, is an EMI.
EMIs like us are quickly becoming a favourite way to send money abroad, especially for businesses that operate internationally. Here’s why:
Savings: They offer lower fees and more competitive FX rates than traditional brick-and-mortar banks.
Simplicity: All your transactions are accessible in one easy-to-use platform.
Scale: Your business can grow more easily with straightforward access to multiple countries and currencies.
EMIs are an ideal solution for businesses that operate internationally. They enable companies to manage payments to and from suppliers and customers in different countries without having to set up local bank accounts. You can learn more about EMIs here.
You can also use wire transfer services (Western Union and Moneycorp are well-known examples) to send money to the Netherlands. There are pros and cons to this type of transfer.
You can opt to pay more to transfer the money faster, but the fees are often a lot higher.
These services often apply a markup to currency exchange rates meaning you’ll have to pay far more to send the required amount to your recipient.
Wire transfers are generally less secure and more difficult to trace if something goes wrong
Sending payments to the Netherlands: step-by-step
A 3S Money International Business Account enables you to send money in 65+ currencies to 190+ countries, including the Netherlands. Here’s how:
1. Open a 3S Money International Business Account
Once approved, get set up fast with a local Netherlands IBAN (International Bank Account Number).
2. Enter the transfer details
Add the recipient’s name and their account details, then choose the currency and country.
3. Send your money
Receive an alert when the transfer is complete.
Receiving money from the Netherlands: step-by-step
A 3S Money International Business Account makes it easy to receive payments from 190+ countries, including the Netherlands.
1. Open a 3S Money International Business Account
Benefit from one easy-to-use platform for all your international payments.
2. Give customers your account details
Get a local Netherlands IBAN in your business name to collect cross-border payments with ease.
3. Receive your money
See the payment arrive in your account (usually in under two hours).
How long do money transfers to the Netherlands take?
Money transfers from the UK to the Netherlands can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few days. How long depends on the type of transfer and the system(s) used by your provider.
If your bank uses the SEPA network, most payments can be processed instantly.
EMIs, such as 3S Money, also have this capability, so your transfer to the Netherlands from the UK is delivered instantly. An added bonus with 3S Money is that our International Business Account allows you to manage your global transfers easily from one online platform.
SWIFT transfers can take up to four working days to reach the recipient.
Wire transfers also vary in speed, depending on the provider and product. Some providers offer cash pick-up or mobile wallet options where the funds are available within minutes. Bank transfers typically arrive the next day.
Remember, transfers from the UK to the Netherlands (through traditional banks, EMIs, or wire transfer providers) are usually only processed on working days. If you make a transfer just before or at a weekend or public holiday, your money could take longer to arrive.
All of these factors will affect how long your transfer takes.
How much money can I transfer online to the Netherlands?
There’s no absolute limit to how much you can transfer. However, some providers place caps on individual transactions. This means that if you’re sending large amounts, you may have to do multiple transfers.
3S Money doesn’t impose any transaction limits. Once you’ve been approved for an International Business Account, you can transfer high-value payments with ease from the Netherlands to 190+ countries around the world.
Transferring large amounts
If your provider imposes a cap, beware of multiple transfer fees. If you’re sending payments regularly, to pay suppliers for example, it could get expensive.
Here are a few things to bear in mind if you’re transferring large amounts:
Some providers cap the amount for a single transfer, so you may have to do several.
There may be limits on the number of transfers you can make in any 30-day period.
With certain providers, larger amounts will generally take longer to process.
Your provider may ask you for more information about large transfers. This is considered best practice and is also an important part of how institutions that are regulated by the FCA (like 3S Money) meet their obligations.
How much does it cost to send money to the Netherlands?
We’ve already talked briefly about how transfers via traditional banks can be expensive. Here’s a more detailed look at the fees you should be aware of.
Outgoing transfer fee: You’ll most likely be charged a flat fee for sending an international transfer. For UK banks, this varies between £20 and £40. 3S Money charges just $1 (or your local equivalent) per transfer.
Incoming transfer fee: Most UK banks charge around £7.50 for receiving payments from international bank accounts. 3S Money charges £0.00.
Initiation fee: Some banks might charge you a fee if you request the transfer over the phone or in person rather than online. Expect this to be around £20. 3S Money doesn’t charge initiation fees.
Commission: Banks might also charge a fee based on a percentage of the total amount you transfer. For UK banks, this is currently around 3-4%. 3S Money charges just $1 per transfer (or your local equivalent) regardless of how much you send.
Markups: The exchange rate you can find on Google or see on the news is called the “mid-market” rate. Banks apply their own exchange rates to international transfers which means you’ll pay more – and they keep the difference. 3S Money offers FX rates that are up to 5x lower than traditional banks.
Tips for transferring money to the Netherlands
While many people feel comfortable using familiar banking processes to transfer money to another country, it can be costly. And when you’re running a business, you’ll want to keep costs to a minimum.
But the good news is that there are plenty of alternative banking solutions, like 3S Money, that can save you time and money when making international transfers.
Here are some tips for transferring money to the Netherlands:
Avoid making multiple small transfers wherever possible. With fees charged for each transfer, you can end up paying far more.
Check the GBP/EUR exchange rate. Banks aren’t always transparent with this information, so ask before you confirm the transfer.
Make sure that whichever provider you use is FCA-regulated, like 3S Money.
Plan ahead to ensure your transfer arrives in good time. Cross-border payments encounter more obstacles than domestic ones.
Transfer money online
Ready to start making and receiving payments to and from the Netherlands?
3S Money’s International Business Account offers global payment solutions for businesses looking to operate in multiple countries – all from one easy-to-use account.