How to open a New Zealand bank account online the fast & easy way. Get it done before arrival!

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Travel Geek

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    Are you planning a trip to New Zealand? Do you want to save heaps of money by paying via card in the local currency when travelling or living in New Zealand? Then opening a New Zealand bank account is the best thing you can do.

    If you are visiting from another country, it’s going to make your life a lot easier too. Here’s why: When you open a bank account in New Zealand and get a debit card, it means that you will always pay in the local currency. No more currency fluctuations to deal with and no more overseas payment fees or conversion fees. It also means that now, when you want to send money to your friends and family back home, it will be done in a cheap yet fast & secure way.

    With that in mind, we’ll take a look at how easy it is to open a bank account in New Zealand. Yes, these days you can open a New Zealand bank account online from your home country. Then everything will be ready when you arrive in New Zealand. You can access your money in New Zealand dollars straightaway and will be able to receive payments in NZD.

    In this blog post, we will show you everything you need to know about opening a bank account in New Zealand. It's an easy and fast process that can be done before you start travelling.

    Why should you open a bank account in New Zealand?

    Just like in your home country, a bank account is a type of financial account that allows you to store your money safely and make electronic transactions. It is the best way to keep your money safe and to make payments via a debit card linked to that account. You don’t want to walk around with heaps of cash in your pocket, not even in a safe country like New Zealand. A bank account will make things easier to organise and keep track of your finances.

    New Zealand isn’t different from any other country when it comes to bank accounts, debit cards and ATMs. When you open a bank account in New Zealand, you will be able to receive payments in NZD and to make payments in NZ Dollars, the local currency.

    You can also use your bank account in New Zealand to make electronic payments and transfer money overseas. When you open a bank account in New Zealand, you will get a local bank account number that you can then give to your employer so they can transfer your wages to your bank account.

    Just make sure you also apply for an IRD number (tax number) when you are ready to start working in New Zealand. Of course, you’ll need to have the right visa as well. So the working & receiving wages part is mainly for working holiday travellers or travellers that have secured a work permit.

    But for opening a New Zealand bank account your visa status doesn’t matter if you use the right solution. Any traveller can have access to a New Zealand bank account with debit card and pay like a local. Here’s how to do it!

    How to open a New Zealand bank account online

    When you go for a regular or classic New Zealand bank it isn’t that easy to open a bank account. You will need to go to the bank branch in person (by appointment), show proof of identity, proof of address, your visa status and much more. Also, most traditional banks in New Zealand don’t have a streamlined process to open a bank account online when still overseas in your home country.

    Luckily, there is a new solution from the fintech geeks at Wise to get a New Zealand bank account. They started out as TransferWise and have revolutionised the way people transfer money worldwide. Their smart solution to transfer money worldwide has slashed prices and has given everyone a better conversion rate than a traditional bank ever could.

    And now, they also have a great alternative for opening a bank account in New Zealand. You can open a free Multi-Currency Account that comes with a local bank account in New Zealand, Australia, the USA, the UK and many other countries. It’s free to open the account, you just pay a few dollars or euros to get a physical debit card. Via their, app you’ll manage your funds and can also create virtual debit cards or one-time use cards.

    Wise Multi-Currency is a real day-to-day bank account in New Zealand with a New Zealand bank account number. It can be used to receive payments in New Zealand dollars (NZD), for example, wages, and you can transfer money or use the debit card to pay in shops. It is all done in NZD so you won’t experience constant currency fluctuations or added conversion fees. None of that.

    Simply add funds in your home country’s currency and exchange it via the app to NZD. This is done instantly at a better exchange rate than any bank would offer you. Easy as. Or give the account details to your NZ employer so they can pay your wages into that account.

    Additional benefits of using Wise as your New Zealand bank account:

    • Extremely reliable and secure. You control it all via the app, block or unblock your cards, add or exchange money and more. It is all secured by 2-factor authentication.
    • Transferring money to fellow Wise users is free and done instantly. The easiest and fastest way to split a bill.
    • You can transfer money to people back home or in other countries at a super low rate. A lot cheaper than when using a traditional bank to transfer money overseas.
    • Adding a bank account in another country is easy and done in one click. So if you decide to move to Australia, Canada or wherever, you can add a local bank account for that country to your Wise account.
    Wise debit card for travellers
    Wise Multi-Currency with debit card is perfect for travellers and digital nomads

    Advantages of a New Zealand bank account

    When you have a bank account in New Zealand, you or someone else is able to deposit money into that bank account. You can deposit your salary or any other type of money that comes your way.

    A bank account in New Zealand can also be used to make payments. You can use that money to buy things online, pay bills or make donations. A New Zealand bank account is also useful if you want to withdraw money in the local currency and make payments in New Zealand dollars, for example in shops.

    As a foreigner living or travelling in New Zealand you will be able to open a bank account in New Zealand. The easiest way to do this is by opening a Wise Multi-Currency account with a free New Zealand bank account included.

    The pros of having a bank account in New Zealand

    A bank account in New Zealand allows you to make electronic transactions such as buying goods online, paying bills and transferring money overseas. Another great advantage of having a bank account in New Zealand is that you can withdraw money from that account.

    If you prefer to have some cash, there are plenty of ATMs in New Zealand to withdraw money from. When using the Wise Multi-Currency Account it is free to get money from an ATM, although it is limited to a few times a month and up to a certain amount. The exact amount you can get fee-free from ATMs worldwide depends on in which country your Wise multi-currency debit card has been issued.

    But why would you want to get cash from an ATM? It is free to pay using your Multi-Currency Card in shops and bars. And in New Zealand paying by card is the most used option everywhere. PayWave or Tap & Go is used for everything everywhere. $5 at a local dairy? Pay by card. No added fees. Pay $65 for your groceries at Countdown or New World supermarkets? Paying by card is the prefered option. And again, no fees to pay by using your Wise debit card.

    Which banks are active in New Zealand?

    There is a wide range of banks active in New Zealand. These are the most common traditional banks.

    All these banks are classic aka traditional banks: big, bureaucratic and a pain to deal with when you have just arrived in the country. Just like in your home country, banks aren’t the most flexible institutions so they have endless paperwork and processes for you to fill out and follow.

    Getting a free Multi-Currency account via Wise means that you will have immediate access to a New Zealand bank account as soon your Wise account has been activated. The account is with one of the traditional New Zealand banks that Wise has a partnership with. Which one doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you have a New Zealand bank account number to receive money or to make payments. How cool is that?

    Traditional way to open bank account in NZ
    Will you go for the traditional way to open a bank account in New Zealand or the modern online way?

    New Zealand bank account for travellers: tourists, working holiday travellers and digital nomads

    With a Wise Multi-Currency Account and debit card, everyone can open a bank account in New Zealand. Even if you are a regular traveller that just wants to save heaps of money by paying in the local currency. And yes, this also applies to freelancers, contractors or small businesses as Wise also offers Multi-Currency for Business. This account comes with the same benefits, like a free New Zealand bank account.

    Everyone will be able to save heaps of money while living or travelling in our wonderful country. Even if you are going to New Zealand as a tourist. When you use the free Wise Multi-Currency account you don’t even need a visa to open a bank account in New Zealand. The NZ bank account is included! Their super-smart and simple solution sure is the best alternative to a local bank account.

    So what are waiting for? Open a New Zealand bank account online before you land there. Then you can pay like a local from the moment you cross the New Zealand border. Make your travelling life as easy as possible.


    Travel Geek

    We Travel. We Enjoy Life. We Share Stories. There's never a dull moment on the Travel.Geek.NZ travel blog. Our articles are about combining travelling with things like craft beer, live music, tasting local food and the geeky side of life.

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