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November 15, 2009
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American Women's
Club of Oslo

P.O. Box 3101 Elisenberg 0207 Oslo, Norway
(47) 22 64 10 12


how to use a giro




Sometime during your stay in Norway you’ll be confronted by a giro–one will mysteriously appear in your mail box (without an envelope), you'll receive one with a monthly bill, or you'll be requested to "send a giro". A giro is a note telling a financial institution to transfer money from one account to another. It is as simple as that. There are two types of giros: postgiros, used within the postal financial system, and bankgiros, used within the banking financial system.

A postgiro should be paid at the post office, either with cash or by writing your postsparebank ("postal savings bank") account number and signature on the giro. Some banks outside the postsparebank system will accept postgiros if you write your bank account number on the postgiro and deliver it to your bank. Discuss this possibility with your bank. To send money via postgiro, simply fill out a postgiro (available at all post offices) with your name and address; the creditor’s name, address, and postgiro account number and finally the amount to be paid. Deliver this, with the appropriate amount (or fill-in your postgiro account number) plus postage, at the counter. A money order, postanvisning, is available when the creditor’s account umber is unknown.

An example of a bankgiro is printed below. Again, fill out your name, address and account number; the creditor’s name, address and account number; and the amount to be paid. If necessary, write what the payment is for, to be certain no mix-ups occur. Then drop the giro, keeping the receipt for your records, in your bank’s girokasse (looks like a type of mail box in your bank lobby).

You may often choose between a postgiro and a bankgiro. Insurance companies, the electric company and others often have accounts at both the bank and the post office. Make inquiries for your convenience. Although you can pick up blank giros in banks and post offices, we recommend you use the original giro whenever possible. They very often contain customer identification information which speeds the time it takes for the giro to be registered and the funds to be transferred.


Paying Bills by Brevgiro
A cheaper and more convenient way of paying your bills is Brevgiro (“Mail Giro”). This allows you to pay your bills by mail.

When you open your bank account, be sure to ask for brevgiro. After a few days you will receive a packet with self-addressed and stamped envelopes and payment slips. When you pay bills with brevgiro, fill out the information on each giro as described above. Fill out the missing information on the payment slips – usually your signature, and the number of giros accompanying the payment slip. Mail the giros and the payment slip (do not staple or otherwise attach them together) in an envelope from the bank. Allow 3-5 days for transfer of funds. The charge is typically NOK 5 per giro, in addition to postage per envelope.


Bank statements issued every month specify each creditor and the amount paid. The bank statement therefore functions as a receipt. If you prefer a separate receipt for each giro, check below on the giro itself.  Banks charge for each receipt; ask your bank about their service charge.

All of this may sound rather complicated, but it really is a smooth way of handling financial affairs.



Information Source

  • What’s a Gee-Row?! by Kay v.S. (Originally published in the February 1992 issue of the Fjord Flyer.)

  • Orientation Handbook - Fulbright Foundation Norway




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