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.
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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.
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