Choosing what bank to go with is a big decision, you’re putting your money is somebody else’s hands so you want to make sure that a) you’re getting the best deal and b) it’s going to be safe. If, like me, you don’t know your APR from your GST then all the financial jargon that’s thrown at you by banks can get a little overwhelming. So here are some things to consider (in plain English) when you’re deciding what bank to bank on and how to go about opening your account.
Choosing Your Bank
It pays (sometimes literally!) to put a lot of research into what bank you choose. Some banks don’t charge fees on transactions and others do, some charge for statements and others don’t. Talk to friends about what bank they’re with and drop into a branch and ask for all the information they have on costs attached to their accounts.
What bank you choose to go with will depend on your needs, so ask yourself – do I need internet banking, a debit card, the ability to transfer overseas etc – and then pose these questions to the banks that you’re interested in joining. And don’t forget to shop around for the best deals!
Types of accounts
In New Zealand, there are generally more cashless transactions than there are cash transactions and for this reason, a current account is best for day-to-day use. You will be issued with an EFTPOS card which can be used at cash dispensers and in the majority of retail stores, cafes and restaurants. You may also be given the option to apply for a Visa Debit Card which works in the same way as EFTPOS but can also be used in other countries and for online transactions.
Most banks will offer you the choice of opening a savings account as well as a current account. If the bank you choose provides internet banking, both your savings and current account can be displayed when you log on and can be transferred into, and out of, quite easily
Opening Your Account
Once you decide what bank you want to go with and what accounts you need, go into a branch to open your account.
Things you will need to bring with you are:
ID – some banks request two forms with passports and driving licenses being preferred
Proof of residency in New Zealand – this can be in the form of a utility bill with your name and address printed on it
Your New Zealand Visa (if you are a non-resident)
Another thing to bear in mind is that some banks also require you to make a lodgement to activate your account so it’s good to have some cash in your wallet when going into the branch.
Once you have these documents, opening the account can be relatively easy. The teller will set up your accounts and issue you with an EFTPOS card on the same day.How To Open A Bank Account In New Zealand,