How to open a bank account in New Zealand

How to open a bank account in New Zealand

A natural paradise with mountains, fjords, volcanoes and fairytale forests New Zealand is, in the eyes of many, the ultimate destination. It welcomes dozens of thousands of expats every year looking to take advantage of their Working Holiday Visa program or simply moving there permanently to enjoy one of the safest and wealthiest countries in the world.

There arre many other reasons for why a person or a family move to New Zealand and in any case a bank account will be needed. The process is easy and in most banks you walk out of the branch with your ATM card. Here is our guide on how to open a bank account in New Zealand.

Documents needed to open a bank account in New Zealand

It should be fairly straight forward for you to open a bank account in New Zealand as long as you have the required documentation which will be asked of you. These should at least include the following:

  • Passport
  • Visa (for anyone not from Australia or the UK). Research on this in detail, there are many visas available that would allow you to open a bank account
  • Proof of address, such as a utility bill, bank statement or employment contract
  • Minimum balance

Can I open a bank account in New Zealand as a non-resident?

Yes, it is possible to open a bank account in New Zealand as a non-resident. We found that banks have varying degrees of requirements for this matter. In general terms, you should be able to open an account. The resident vs non-resident status has to do with taxation in the country so as long as you follow the requirements of the bank you should be granted an account.

Opening an account from abroad is also possible and most banks have online forms for this purpose. It is just as simple as opening a bank account from the branch and once you arrive you should be able to walk out of the branch with your ATM card.

Best banks in New Zealand

There are a lot of banks in New Zealand and you can choose from local banks and international retail giants alike. All of them are very efficient and easy to work with and we reckon it is a matter of convenience when choosing the right bank for yourself. Here is a list of New Zealand"s top banks and some information on each so you can start your research:

  • ANZ: with over 800 branches and a large ATM network this is the largest retail bank in New Zealand. They have special offers for foreigners such as basic current accounts, investment and savings accounts, insurance and loans, multi-currency accounts and credit card offers. All accounts have ATM cards and online banking included in the package.
  • ASB: Auckland Savings Bank is a full retail bank with special offers for expatriates such as a multi-currency account that you can use to manage money between your home country and New Zealand. There are special offers for students, youths and families. With more than 100 branches and a wide reaching ATM network this may be a convenient option to you. You are able to start the application process online.
  • BNZ: Bank of New Zealand is a quality bak with over 250 branches and more than 650 ATMs nationwide. They have a full set of service and product offers for expats including multi-currency accounts and wealth and estate management. Accounts come with ATM cards and they also have your typical insurance and loan programs.
  • Westpac: because of the experience gathered while working with thousands of expats over the years, they have developed a special account called the Migrant Banking Package which serves most of the needs of expats needing to perform banking operations in New Zealand. They also have accounts for students, investors and if you do a lot of travel you can count on their more than 1400 branches worldwide. Online banking, SMS and phone service comes standard.

It is important to read the fine print and avoid surprises related to fees. Watch out for such charges as debit card usage fees, account closing fees and as with any bank beware of currency conversion fees when using your debit card abroad. These can be especially steep.

The virtual bank account alternative

Transferring money abroad from New Zealand is expensive when you use a bank

Unfortunately banks charge too much and you could be surprised to hear that for a 10 thousand euro transfer, you could be spending as much as 900 euros too much in currency conversion if you use a bank. For example, if you send 10 thousand euros to India using a bank, you only get about 9000 euros worth of rupees back home. That is an outrageously expensive transaction don't you think?

You will be glad to hear there is a much more affordable alternative. With a virtual bank account by B2B Pay, you get 9900 euros worth of rupees in India. You save 900 euros on every transaction. Plus you get your own IBAN in Europe that works just like a normal European bank account and you can use it to send and receive money within the EU for free and send money anywhere in the world in 33 currencies for a small 1% flat fee.

How to open a bank account in Europe

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple European countries and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.



How to open a bank account overseas

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple countries all over the world and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.


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