The Netherlands is switching over to Mastercard and Visa!
Attention Dutch debit card holders! As of July 1, 2023, Debit Mastercard is officially phasing out Maestro Debit cards and soon V PAY, too, will give way to Visa Debit cards.
With this new update comes an exciting range of payment possibilities for Mastercard Debit holders - such as being able to shop at over 80 million acceptance points internationally or making online transactions without any worries about compatibility and the need to rely on platforms like iDEAL. We’re still awaiting a hard date for when V Pay Debit cards will be replaced with Visa Debit cards.
What do you need to do if you have a Maestro or V Pay card?
You’ll only have to do the bare minimum to upgrade your Maestro Card. Most banks already have the option of switching over their debit cards from Maestro and V PAY to Mastercard Debit - with Rabobank being the pioneering example so far! If you’d like to request a replacement card or if your current Maestro card is expiring soon, all new replacement cards (starting 1 July) will be Mastercard Debit cards. Also, your current payment methods will still be accepted while you wait for your shiny new card; no need to worry if you've yet to receive it.
What does this mean for South Africans moving to the Netherlands?
Until now, paying with your Visa or Mastercard in the Netherlands has been an absolute nightmare and often credit cards are also rejected. You can read more on why your Visa and Maestro cards would be rejected (even though their debit cards) here.
Moving over to Visa and Mastercard means after 1 July, Mastercard users SHOULD be able to use their South African debit cards without any issues. This makes a huge difference, especially in the first few weeks of living in the Netherlands when you pay for most things in Rands. No more worries about how you can quickly and easily transfer funds from Rands to Euros, you can simply swipe or tap your South African debit card!
What you need to do before you arrive in the Netherlands and start using your SA debit cards
Before you start swiping your South African bank card like a Samurai in the streets of Amsterdam, it's important to check the following with your South African bank BEFORE you depart for the Netherlands:
Check the fees and charges involved: although this will be a much simpler way to access your Rands it might not be cheap.
Activate your card for international travel: it’s also important to notify your bank before your departure that you’ll be going overseas and that you’ll be using your bank card(s) while you’re travelling. This might require a simple changing a setting on your banking app, a phone call to your bank or visiting your nearest bank branch with proof of ID. Otherwise, their fraud department might think someone’s cloned or stolen your card and will block it until the transactions have been verified (they’ll try to reach you on your SA number that they have on their system which opens another can of worms).