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Bank Accounts

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Before you arrive into NZ we suggest you open a bank account. All the banks in New Zealand can be accessed online so you can get to see all the features and costs of different bank accounts online before you arrive in the country.

The basic requirement to open Bank Accounts in New Zealand doesn’t require you to be a resident of New Zealand or to produce any references. All you need is a proof of ID which can be your passport and your permanent address. Even your work address in New Zealand or a Post office box number is acceptable.

The ATMs of most of the banks have Cirrus option as well which allows you to use your current debit/credit card to withdraw money or to access your card.

Banking Style in New Zealand:

New Zealand differs from UK in terms of the format of the bank account number. It is important to note this down as this has already confused us on a few occasions! The format of the bank account number in New Zealand is like this:


The bank account number breakup is given as:

RR – Determines Bank.

RRRR – Determines branch.

RRRRRRR – Determines the Account number.

RR – Determines the Account sub number.

Each bank also assigns a unique 6 digit number to every customer.


Majority of the customers in New Zealand use their EFTPOS card (known simply as a debit card over in the UK) to do most of their shopping. You can put as little as $1 on your card if needs be! Before you decide on which bank to trust your money with do check that the debit card that you get can accept online payments or international payments.

Credit Cards:

Credit cards providers are same in New Zealand as rest of the world like Visa card, American Express, Master card etc.

Online Banking:

Online banking is very easy to use and transparent in New Zealand. People find online banking very easy to pay their utility bills or to do other online shopping.

Banks in New Zealand:

Do try and open your New Zealand bank account before you leave your home country to be able to access your funds as soon as you arrive in the country. Once it has been opened (most banks let you do this online and via email, the only bank we had trouble doing this with was the Kiwi Bank) you can transfer your money over to your NZ bank with a recommended Currency Exchange company, for more information about this check out our post here! That way the funds are ready and waiting for you when you arrive.

The upside to this (other than it being waiting for you) is that you gain interest on the money whilst it waits for you, the downside is that you can’t put it in say a high interest saver of your choice you are at the mercy of there holding account interest rates.

Once you arrive all you have to do is make a appointment with your banking advisor visit them in store to collect your cards, set up your telephone and online banking. Be warned though this took us one and half hours with BNZ, we were ready for a nap after that! They will then discuss with you your different savings options so you can then take advantage of there interest rates or if you don’t like what they offer take your business to another bank!

Below are the banks that operate all across New Zealand.

It is also worth noting there pretty much no such thing as free banking in New Zealand, however we have found a account that doesn’t charge a monthly fee! For more information on this and the best savings options available to you check out our post here!

Borrowing Money in New Zealand:

The mortgage market is very good in New Zealand and it is worth spending your time to get the best quote for the mortgage. If you are looking for large loans, then you have to give the surety to the bank that you are intending to stay in New Zealand for more than 2 years. For more information on getting a mortgage in New Zealand read our article by by clicking here!