1. to withdraw cash from a cash dispenser (or ATM) [verb] [pinde, gepind; ‘pin-nun’]

The abbreviation PIN was copied from the English Personal Identification Number, and we turned it into a verb by adding -en. The second translation of "pinnen", see below, is just as common.

– "Wacht even, ik moet eerst nog even pinnen."
("Wait (a second)/Hold on, I have to withdraw some cash first.")

– "Dat is balen, ik kan niet meer pinnen; mijn saldo is onvoldoende!"
("That sucks/that’s tough luck, I can’t withdraw cash anymore; my balance is insufficient!")

2. to pay by switch/debit card [verb] [pinde, gepind]

PinnenContrary to (at least) the U.S., paying by credit card is not as common in the Netherlands. Paying by switch/debit card ("pinpas") is the preferred method. As shop owners have to pay the credit card companies a percentage of the transaction, they often ask you to pay with your "pinpas" if possible. They might even refuse a credit card if the item that you are purchasing was already heavily discounted.

– "U kunt meteen beginnen met pinnen."
("You can initiate your payment by switch/debit card straight away." This you will read at supermarket check-outs. It is intended to speed up the proces. As soon as the cashier starts scanning your goods, you can swipe the card and enter your PIN.)

– "Pinnen onder de 10 Euro kost 0,10 extra."
("Paying by switch/debit card for an amount less than 10 Euros costs an additional 0.10." For the transaction by switch/debit card, shop owners pay a fixed fee which they deem too high if you don’t purchase enough.)

– "U kunt hier niet pinnen."
("No payment by switch/debit card." Lit. "You can’t pay by switch/debit card here.")

Related words:
– "Pinpas": cash/switch/debit card.

– "Pincode": PIN code.

– "Je mag alles van me weten, behalve mijn pincode!"
("I will tell you everything you want to know of me, except my PIN code!" Lit. "You are allowed to know everything of me, …" This was a slogan used by the Dutch government when the PIN code was first introduced.)

– "Pinautomaat": cash dispenser/machine, ATM.

-"Is er hier een pinautomaat in de buurt?"
("Is there an ATM nearby?")

– "Weet u de dichtsbijzijnde pinautomaat?"
("Do you know where the closest ATM is?")

– "Chippen": to pay with a preloaded chip card. This separate card called "chippas" has a chip to which you can upload money.

– "Flappentappen": informal synonym for "pinnen". See DWOTD 105. Flap for an explanation.

2 thoughts on “Pinnen

  1. “switch card” zegt mensen in N-Amerika niet zoveel; de meeste mensen in Canada benoemen deze pin-passen “interac” of “debit”.

  2. I remember having heard “debit card” in the U.S. too, so I will add that as the North American translation – Thanks!

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