How to Open a NZ Bank Account Online from the UK

How to Open a NZ Bank Account Online from the UK

Where easy-going meets action-packed adventure and where snow-capped mountains tower over glacial fjords, New Zealand certainly is the land of exploration and beauty. If you are one of the many Brits heading on your own New Zealand adventure, then we know you’ll want to enjoy everything it has to offer with peace of mind that the important things, like your money, are safe and sorted.

Keep reading to find out how to quickly and easily open a NZ bank account from the UK.

The easiest way to open a NZ account online from the UK is to:

  1. 1

    Check you're eligible to open an account and make sure you know when you'll be arriving in New Zealand. Simply search your chosen New Zealand bank and follow the link to start an online application.

  2. 2

    Scan and upload all requested documents including your passport and visa.

  3. 3

    Provide either your UK or New Zealand address to have your EFTPOS card and further information sent to you securely.

  4. 4

    When approved, arrange a meeting in-branch after you arrive to verify your documents and complete your activation.

Can I open a NZ bank account online from the UK?

New Zealand has five big banks which all offer online applications: ANZ, BNZ, Westpac, ASB, and Kiwibank.

While it’s relatively easy to open a New Zealand bank account online from the UK, you will find it largely dependent on the below factors:

  • Type of visa you are travelling on. Some banks do not accept online applications from working holiday visa holders without a job offer.
  • Having a New Zealand residential address. Some banks require a New Zealand address in order to accept your online application.
  • Arrival date in New Zealand. Banks require you to arrive in New Zealand within a certain number of days after you apply. This can range from 3 months to a year.
  • Your employer details. Some banks request employer and salary when you apply online.
  • Upload required documents. Banks will have to verify these in-branch when you arrive in New Zealand for your account to be activated fully.

We recommend you book your in-branch appointment as soon as possible after your arrival in New Zealand, so you can start withdrawing and spending.

Can I Open an New Zealand bank account online from the UK

What documents do I need to supply?

What documents do I need to open an New Zealand bank account from the UK

When applying for a New Zealand bank account online, you should be ready to upload the following documents:

  • Proof of address e.g. bank statement, utilities bill
  • Your passport
  • Copy of your visa
  • IRD Number or National Insurance Number
  • Your birth certificate (some banks accept this as an overseas form of ID)
  • Employer details and salary (depending on your visa type and choice of bank

Once your application is submitted and approved, your EFTPOS or Visa card will either be sent to your listed address or available to pick up in-branch when you arrive.

How to transfer money to NZ without a bank account

There are many options to transfer money without a bank account. Firstly, check out our comparison guide for the cheapest way to transfer your GBP to NZD.

We’ve also helpfully listed some alternatives below:

Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) Borderless Account

The Wise Borderless account is a great option for travellers looking to spend securely in different currencies before opening a bank account. Able to hold 40 different currencies in one account, Wise will assign you an account number and further details specific to the currency you choose to add, allowing you to spend and receive as you would on a debit card.

A great way to keep your money safe, you can spend wisely and securely with minimum fees while you get set up in New Zealand. You can apply easily online from the UK before you move, using your documents to prove your identity and address, and make all the transfers from GBP to NZD before you fly.

Be aware that the card takes between 7-14 days to be delivered, so it's important you leave plenty of time to apply and receive your card before you fly.

For more information on whether the Wise Borderless Account is for you, read our detailed review.

 

 

TransferWise logo on mobile phone: How to transfer money to New Zealand without a bank account

Revolut

Revolut is a British digital banking app and can be a great alternative to transfer money. Easy to set up, it holds 29 currencies with NZD included.

Although not a long-term option, it’s a great choice while you get settled in New Zealand.

How to transfer money to New Zealand without a bank account: Revolut

Starling Bank and Monzo

Both of these British banks are easy to use and aim to let you do everything the traditional bank charges you for, including multi-currency spending and money transfers.

If you would like to wait until your arrival in New Zealand but worried about getting stung by high exchange fees, both are great options to spend and protect your money while you get set up. To apply on your phone, you’ll need 10 minutes, identification and a UK address.

How to transfer money to New Zealand without a bank account: Starling Bank
How to transfer money to New Zealand without a bank account: Monzo

What are the fees of opening a NZ bank account online from the UK?

Banks always walk hand-in-hand with fees, with some more obvious than others. New Zealand is no exception, with five big banks to consider when opening an account in New Zealand.

All the below banks offer online banking. We've broken down the basic fees for you below:

ANZ (Australia and New Zealand Bank)

ANZ (Australia and New Zealand) has over 200 branches across New Zealand and over 600 ATMs.

They offer multiple options for everyday banking with their Go account and Freedom account.

  • Go Account:

    No monthly fee
    No automated transaction fee
    Free EFTPOS card / $10 annual debit card fee (Visa)

  • Freedom Account:

    $5 monthly fee
    No automated transaction fee
    Free EFTPOS card / No annual debit card fee (Visa)

For other account fees, click here for more information.

BNZ (Bank New Zealand)

BNZ (Bank New Zealand) has 250 branches and 650 ATMs across New Zealand.

They offer a range of services with their everyday YouMoney current account.

  • YouMoney account:

    No monthly fee

    You can open up to 25 accounts

    No transaction fees

    $10-$30 overdraft fees

    Free EFTPOS card / No annual Visa debit card fee

 

For other account fees, click here for more information.

Westpac

Westpac has over 150 branches and 400 ATMs across New Zealand.

Westpac have a separate migrant banking section and offer great services with their Everyday current account.

  • Everyday Account:

    No monthly fee and no transaction fees

    $9-$25 overdraft fees

    Free EFTPOS card / No annual Visa debit card fee

For other account fees, click here for more information.

ASB (Auckland Savings Bank)

ASB (Auckland Savings Bank) has over 120 branches in New Zealand and is owned by Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

It is a good choice for online users, because they provide specialist online support.

  • Streamline Account:

    No monthly fee ($3.50 for paper statements) and no transaction fees

    $25 overdraft fee (plus 0.12% overdraft limit or 0.12% daily overdrawn limit)

    Free EFTPOS card / $5 per 6 months for a Visa debit card

For other account fees, click here for more information.

KiwiBank

Kiwibank is one of the smaller banks in New Zealand but still has over 200 branches and many ATMs, mostly in Post Offices.

They offer multiple options for everyday banking with the Free Up and Bill Blaster accounts.

  • Free Up:

    No monthly fee

    No transaction fees

    $5-$10 overdraft fees (plus upfront fee)

    Free Kiwibank ATM withdrawal / $1 non-Kiwibank ATM withdrawal

    Your choice of a free EFTPOS or Visa Debit

  • Bill Blaster:

    No monthly fee

    No transaction fees

    Overdraft fee ranges from $10 (unarranged) or $20 one-off fee and $5 per month (arranged)

    Earn 0.05% interest on $100 or more

For other account fees, click here for more information.

KiwiBank: Image showing NZ

ATM fees

Most banks will offer you free withdrawals from their ATMs in NZ. If you choose one of the big five banks, then you should find it easy to access an ATM nearby.

If your bank does not offer free ATM withdrawals from other major banks, then you will be charged an owner’s fee when withdrawing. This fee averages at around $1-$2 depending on the bank’s ATM.

ATM fees for opening an Australian bank account online from the UK
International Money Transfer fees for opening an Australian bank account online from the UK

International transfer fees

If you’re looking to open a bank account online in the UK before your move to New Zealand, then it’s highly likely you’ll also be planning an international transfer.

It’s incredibly important to know all of the fees involved in your transfer, as you can lose a lot of your cash with exchange rates and hidden fees.

Luckily, there’s been a lot of focus on making international transfers fairer for customers in recent years. As a result, there are now more options and better deals when transferring through other providers as oppose to your bank.

We would recommend using our comparison tool to choose the best option to transfer your cash abroad.

Choosing the right bank account for you

Choosing the right bank ahead of your move to New Zealand is important. With so many choices, it can sometimes feel overwhelming when you don’t know where to start.

Your choice of bank should reflect what account you need, the type of stay you will have in New Zealand and the bank’s eligibility requirements.

Working Holiday Visa

If you are travelling on a Working Holiday visa, then you may want to consider Westpac or ANZ. These are great choices because:

  • They also have a strong presence in Australia if you are looking to travel as well as work
  • Both allow you to apply without a New Zealand residential address
  • Westpac has a separate FX, Travel and Migrant section
  • Both have low fees and do not require employer information to apply online

We wouldn’t recommend Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) if it is important to apply online before your arrival in New Zealand, as you won’t be able to do so without employer and salary information.

To see if you qualify for BNZ, complete their pre-qualification questionnaire by clicking here. You’ll be able to know in a couple of minutes if you can open an account online.

Best New Zealand account for Working Holiday Visa's
Best New Zealand accounts for Expats and Students

Expats and Students

If you are relocating with work, then it might be that you’re looking for bank accounts with certain features and interest rates. We would recommend setting up a current account online before your move and then setting up an in-branch meeting with them once you’re settled in New Zealand to discuss more accounts and features.

All five banks offer student accounts, so we would recommend having a look while taking into account availability, fees and minimum balances.

Knowing the types of accounts open to you

New Zealand’s banking system is the same as Australia. Although similar to the UK, both Australia and New Zealand will ask you which account you'd like the money to be taken from ahead of each transaction.

  • Cheque: A standard current account. Linked to your EFTPOS or debit card, money will be deducted from your current account.
  • Savings: A savings account can be opened once you have opened a current account. You won’t usually choose this option when paying for everyday transactions.
  • Credit: A credit card can be requested once you’ve arrived in New Zealand.
Knowing the types of New Zealand accounts open to you

Alternative banking options

If you’d like to explore alternative options to opening a New Zealand bank account, then opening an international account with your UK bank may be an option.

How to open an New Zealand bank account from the UK: HSBC Everyday Global Account

HSBC (Everyday Account and Multi-Currency Savings Account)

HSBC offer an Everyday Account as well as a Multi-Currency Savings Account for its existing premier customers.

It’s headquartered in Auckland and has a number of branches throughout New Zealand. With an expensive list to qualify, you’ll need to have:

  • A minimum value of $500,000 in home loans with HSBC in New Zealand (facility limit not outstanding balance); and/or
  • A minimum value of $100,000 in savings and investments with HSBC in New Zealand; and/or
  • If you are an overseas HSBC Premier customer you will automatically qualify for Premier customer status in New Zealand.

We hope that this guide has helped you choose the best option ahead of your move to New Zealand. Be sure to check out various other guides and information on transfers on our website.

By Justin Rampono Updated April 19th, 2021