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Vipps: The key things to know about Norway's mobile payment service

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Vipps: The key things to know about Norway's mobile payment service
If you've never used Vipps before, here's the lowdown. Photo by Christiann Koepke on Unsplash

If you move to Norway from another country, it probably won't take more than a week before you're asked whether you can pay via Vipps. Here's what you need to know about this popular payment app.


One of many surprises people relocating to Norway often encounter is how cashless Norway is.

Coming from regions where cash is still king, newcomers will find that many Norwegians prefer the convenience and efficiency of cashless transactions.

EXPLAINED: The pros and cons of Norway going cashless

The most common way for making payments in places where cash normally would have been best, such as markets or splitting the cost of dinner with a friend, is Vipps.

What is Vipps?

If you've never used Vipps before, here's the lowdown – basically, it's a mobile payment solution that offers an easy way to handle financial transactions, from splitting bills with friends to paying for groceries and services.

It's available as a mobile application for both iOS and Android devices, and, regardless of which part of Norway you move to, you'll find it has become an integral part of Norwegian society.

From small businesses to major retailers, many Norwegian establishments now offer Vipps as a preferred payment method.

You'll even find that street vendors, performers, youth organisations, and churches accept Vipps payments.

The mobile payment service doesn't charge fees either, unless you send more than 5,000 kroner to a private person in 24 hours. 


What are the requirements to use Vipps?

Before using Vipps, you'll need to meet certain requirements.

These include having a Norwegian social security number and a bank account in Norway for both receiving payments and as a source of funds. You will also need to have a BankID. Banks typically, but not always, issue BankID to customers with a Norwegian birth number rather than a D-number. 

You'll also need a personal debit or credit card issued by a Norwegian bank and a Norwegian debit card to receive funds.

READ MORE: Why Norwegians have turned their back on cash

Note that you'll have to be over 15 years old to create a profile, with certain restrictions for those aged 15 to 18.

Vipps users also must provide an email address and a Norwegian mobile phone number while setting up the app.


Where can you use it?

In Norway, you can use Vipps to pay for a wide range of services, including payment in (some) shops, online shopping, and apps displaying the Vipps symbol.

You can also use it to send or receive money from people you know or organisations, pay invoices, and use eFaktura services (that is, pay online invoices such as utilities).

The situation isn't as simple when it comes to grocery stores, as only a limited number of major ones offer Vipps payments as of the time of writing.

In 2022, Vipps disappeared from store terminals at REMA 1000 but has since returned to Bunnpris and REMA 1000 as of late 2023.

At REMA 1000, you can register Vipps as a payment method in the store's Æ app. At checkout, scanning the Vipps QR code initiates the payment process.

This method is not entirely contactless yet, but it's an alternative to traditional payment methods.


Tip: Don't take it for granted that stores accept Vipps

While Vipps payments offer great convenience, relying too heavily on them can sometimes lead to… "amusing" situations.

Picture this scenario: you head out for a grocery run, confidently leaving your wallet at home, assuming your phone and Vipps will suffice for payments.

However, upon reaching your local Kiwi store, you're met with an unexpected revelation – they don't accept Vipps.

Suddenly, your shopping plans (and confidence) crumble, and you find yourself in a somewhat embarrassing situation.

With no alternative payment method – or cash – at hand, your walk of shame begins as you return each item to its place on the shelves, all under the gaze of fellow Norwegian shoppers…

Moments like these (which this author has, unfortunately, experienced first-hand) serve as a reminder not to take cashless payments for granted.

Before assuming that Vipps (or any other digital payment method) will work, it's a good idea to ask the store whether they accept them, especially if this is the first time you have used the payment service in question there.



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