How To Get Vipps As A Foreigner

Vipps is a popular mobile payment processor in Norway, and it runs as a mobile app that is connected to a regular banking card. It used to be mainly for sending money between people, but has since evolved to become a standard type of payment for paying at stores, gas stations or even when shopping online.

You will notice that the Vipps stickers that says that the store accept Vipps as a payment option are very common, and it’s a very convenient app to have ready for life in Norway. But how do you even get Vipps as a foreigner in Norway?

You cannot get Vipps as a tourist who is visiting Norway, because you need a Norwegian banking card, BankID and a Norwegian social number to be able to get Vipps. Foreigners who move to Norway can get Vipps, but need a Norwegian national number and phone number first.

Vipps' headquarters
Vipps’ headquarters. Photo by Premeditated / CC BY-SA 4.0.

If you’re just visiting Norway for a few months, then the hassle of getting Vipps might not be worth it. But for those you are staying a bit longer, getting all the things you need to get Vipps is a good investment of time.

Let’s take a closer look at what you need to do to get Vipps as a foreigner in Norway.

The requirements for getting Vipps as a foreigner in Norway

To get Vipps as a foreigner, you need a BankID. But getting a BankID does also have some requirements, so let’s look at all the steps you need to complete for both getting BankID and Vipps:

  1. Start by getting a D number.
  2. Start the process of getting a Norwegian national number (personnummer).
  3. Order a Norwegian phone number.
  4. Open a Norwegian bank account. This requires a Norwegian address.
  5. Order a Norwegian banking card.
  6. Apply for getting BankID.
  7. Register for a Vipps account when you have BankID.
  8. Apply your new Norwegian banking card to your Vipps account.

In other words, it’s a bit of a hassle to get Vipps, and there are lots of different steps you need to take. However, most of these will be things that you would be doing anyone if you are moving to Norway, so it’s not like you’re doing all these things just to get Vipps.

Why it’s a bit of a hassle to get Vipps

Vipps is seen as a very convenient payment app in Norway, and it’s widely used for paying when you buy used items from other people. But one of the main features with Vipps is that the barrier to entry makes it very safe as well.

Since you do need BankID to register, the chance of people getting a Vipps account in a fake name is very low. It easy to see exactly who you are sending money to, and it’s very rare to see scammers who operate with fake accounts and fake identities.

There are some scammers that uses Vipps, but we often see that these scammers use their own identity, so it’s very easy for the Police to find the perpetrator.

So all these high barriers to entry for Vipps do serve a good purpose overall.

This is the same reason why tourists aren’t able to get Vipps. While they do miss out on some convenience, opening Vipps to any foreign tourists who visit Norway would pose a huge security risk to the app.

How to use Vipps

After you create a Vipps account, you need to tie the account to a banking card. Both debit cards and credits cards are fine. You don’t actually need a physical Norwegian bank card to use Vipps, and the service accept some (but far from all) foreign credit cards. It does accept all Norwegian banking cards, both Visa and Mastercard, from any Norwegian bank.

After you have connected Vipps with your banking card, you can use it to pay by scanning QR codes, typing in a number to send money to, or by accepting payment notification on your phone.

The money is sent directly from your bank account to the other person or business, and works a lot like Apple Pay or PayPal. Whenever you send money to someone else, you type in their phone number.

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