How to open a bank account in New Zealand?

How to open a bank account in New Zealand?

One of the main concerns you should have when moving to a new country is opening a local bank account. This is especially true in the case of those who will spend more time, such as university students, for example. We have already talked here on the blog how this process works in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. In today’s text you will see how to open a bank account in New Zealand.

  • Countryaah: See population statistics by city and age about the country of New Zealand, including density, growth rates, pyramid, etc.

How to open a bank account in New Zealand

Account types

Checking account

A checking account allows you to deposit your money safely in the bank and access it whenever necessary. This type of account is designed for daily use, so you should use it to pay your bills, buy food or go out to eat, among other routine activities.

When opening a checking account in New Zealand, the account holder usually receives a debit card to be able to withdraw money from ATMs or make purchases at stores across the country. It is worth remembering that debit cards in New Zealand are extremely popular, being used in more than half of all transactions made there.

Student bank account

Some banks offer special accounts designed specifically for students, with all the benefits of checking accounts, plus some additional benefits. Usually, the account holder is not charged for any extra transaction fees or services, which can result in considerable money savings.

It is also possible to request an interest-free overdraft in some cases. ASB offers an overdraft of up to $ 2,500 (New Zealand dollars), while Kiwibank offers an interest-free overdraft of $ 1,000 in the first year and $ 2,000 in subsequent years.

Student bank account for foreigners

Bank accounts for international students offer services similar to those of other bank accounts. The main negative difference is the impossibility of requesting an interest-free overdraft. On the other hand, there are some unique advantages to this type of account. Some banks, like Kiwibank, will ensure that you can talk to an employee who speaks your language. Westpac, on the other hand, allows the account holder student to keep his money in his local currency, if he wishes.

Savings account

Opening a parallel savings account, in addition to a checking account, is a great idea if you have access to larger amounts of money (and enough self-control to save!). This type of account also tends to have higher interest rates, just so that you earn more with what you deposit.

There are even some banks, such as ANZ, that offer packages that include a checking account and a savings account with lower maintenance fees.

Kiwibank branch in Christchurch

What to consider when opening your bank account in New Zealand?

IRD number

You will need an IRD number to open a New Zealand bank account. It is used, in part, by banks and other financial institutions to identify the account user for tax purposes. Therefore, you must purchase one as soon as you set up your new account, as all interest earned must be taxed. Otherwise, you will be taxed at the highest possible rate and will end up paying a lot. The application to obtain an IRD number is done online.


New Zealand’s main banks are Kiwibank, ASB Bank, Bank of New Zealand, ANZ, Westpac and TSB Bank. Whenever you use an ATM belonging to a bank other than yours, you will usually be charged a small fee. That is why it is important to identify which ATMs are available on campus or near your student accommodation. That way you don’t have to go far when withdrawing money, for example. Use the store locator on your bank’s website to find out where the nearest ATMs and / or branches are located.

Another option is to look for a bank that will not charge you for using other ATMs. This is the case, for example, of Kiwibank, which does not charge for the use of boxes from other banks on university campuses.

Opening a bank account in New Zealand

To open a bank account in New Zealand just make an appointment with the local branch of the chosen bank. You will need to bring your passport; proof of permanent address in the country (electricity bill, rental agreement, etc.) and proof that you are a student (letter of acceptance from the university, proof of enrollment, receipt of payment, etc.). And of course you also need to take some cash to make your first deposit.

Some larger banks like ANZ, Kiwibank, BNZ and ASB allow international students to open their accounts before arriving in the country. After filling out the registration form on the website of your chosen bank, you will receive an email with your new account details within a few business days and will be able to start depositing money even before your trip. After arriving in New Zealand, you will need to visit your local agency to fully activate your new account.

Now that you know how to open a bank account in New Zealand, how about starting to get ready to win your dream opportunity there? We can help you with this through our expert mentoring and our entire team of mentors.

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