Dutch Language Blog

Campaigns in NL 4 – “Klein Bedrag, Pinnen mag!” Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in Culture

Pinnen (paying by debit/credit card) is very widespread in the Netherlands. There is even a verb for it! Pinnen comes from the word pinpas, which means debit card.

This kind of payment got the honor of a verb of its own because it is used so much in the country. In many countries, there is an extra charge or minimum amount for pinnen. Not so for the Dutch! Even if you want to pay 5 cents with your bank card, most stores will allow it! Also, places that normally do not have the possibility of pinnen at all, like bars or some market stands.

ING Betaalpas - Debit Card from one of the major Dutch banks. With these, contactloos pinnen is also already possible. (Image by 24oranges.nl at Flickr.com)

ING Betaalpas – Debit Card from one of the major Dutch banks. With these, contactloos pinnen is also already possible. (Image by 24oranges.nl at Flickr.com)

Normally, you pay by putting your card in the paying device and entering your 4-digit code. However, new technology allows for contactloos pinnen (contact free pinnen), where you merely hold your bank card to the paying device in order to pay! There are limits to this much more efficient way of paying, though. You can only spend up to 25 euros, after which you need to enter your code again. Also, if your card is stolen, you can get those 25 euros refunded from the bank. These rules were made as to make it safe.

What is also new, is paying with your phone. It is on the rise, and coming up quickly!

Why is pinnen so popular in the Netherlands? There are several reasons for this. Shops like it, because there is less cash in store – which is much safer. They are willing to pay the added price for it. Customers like it because it is safer, as they do not have to carry around so much money, and it is much faster.

I myself like pinnen very much too!

How did it get so popular? There is an ad campaign behind it…

The campaign

Klein Bedrag? Pinnen mag! (small amount? pinnen allowed!) is part of the campaign Pinnen, ja graag (pinnen, yes please). This was an initiative by  the company PIN B.V., which is a sub-sector of Currence B.V., the company that manages all payment methods in the Netherlands. It consists of banks to ensure a smooth payment system throughout the country.

For the same reasons, they wanted to encourage pinnen – and, of course, because it is their business. They get paid for every transaction made, and at the same time, the costs for transactions are reduced. So it is very lucrative!

Below a commercial for Klein Bedrag? Pinnen mag!


And a commercial for Pinnen, ja graag.


And, as you can imagine, the campaign was successful!


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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.


  1. Daniel:

    We have the same in Australia. It’s called “paypass” if you have a Mastercard and “paywave” if you have a Visa card, and both credit cards and debit cards issued by these which is pretty much everyone everywhere can access this technology. Here you can access up to $100 instead of 25 euro. It’s pretty much universal except for some backwards restaurants which still have EFTPOS surcharges. Or even just minmum EFTPOS amounts. We went to a restaurant the other day and the bill was around $33.00. The teller said “sorry minimum EFTPOS amount is $35.00.” No signs to this effect anywhere. Friend who was paying didn’t want to cause a scene so just paid an extra $2.00 to do it electronically. Crazy.