As you all know, I’m currently living it up in New Zealand, having the time of my life and pumping out some pretty epic content. Well, I didn’t want it to all be about fancy pictures, great vlogs and road trips. I want it to be informative. I want to, in some way, help any and every one of you reading this blog post. So that’s why I’m starting a little mini-series, all about the logistics of moving abroad, the finer detail and what it actually takes to move to a different country.
So for today’s post, we’re kicking it off with the money talk. Obviously you’re going to A) need to buy stuff and B) need to get a job. Unfortunately, you can’t to either of those without a bank account. So sit back, take notes and grab a snack… we’re talking all things Opening A Bank Account In New Zealand.
// STORY TIME \\
When it came to opening a bank account, I hit the local shopping mall where there were three banks. Kiwi Bank, ASB & ANZ. Kiwi Bank being the closest geographically, I naively walked up to the counter and proudly announced I was new to the country and looking for a bank account. I was quickly informed I “had to be in the country for 2 weeks before I could apply and have a proof of address such as bank statement from a LOCAL BANK and/or a doctors letter“. With that we left and moved onto ASB. This is where it’s time to jump through fiery hoops to even get an appointment.
For me to be able to open a bank account in ASB bank, the following things were required of me:
- To have a job
- For my employer to also bank with ASB
- For my employer/manager to write a letter & sign it confirming who I am
- My employers bank details
- Proof of address
- Copy of my visa
- Tax details
- AND A PIECE OF MY FU**ING DNA!!
Literally, they wanted it all. So with the wind swiftly knocked from my sails, I held all hopes on ANZ. Walking through the door to ANZ was like a breath of fresh air. They informed me that all I needed was my passport, visa & tax details and proof of address. Luckily, I changed my address on my english bank account, to match with my New Zealand address. This worked perfectly, the appointment was booked and I was on my way to opening a bank account.
This whole process probably aged me by 20 years. At one point, I genuinely thought I wasn’t going to be able to open a bank account. So please, before even stepping foot in your new country, DO YOUR RESEARCH!
// Proving Who You Are \\
When it comes to proving who you are in New Zealand, you’ve got quite the job to do so. They don’t take your foreign driving licence, they need a proof of address and more often than not, they’ll require a blood sample. Okay, that’s excessive but you get my drift. Top tip for proving your address: Amend the address on your most recent bank statement, to match that of your new address. That way, you’ll have a bank statement with the correct address, proving where you live. ANZ seemed to be the only bank that would take a foreign statement, so I’d suggest you head there first.
If you’ve applied for a New Zealand visa, you should’ve heard of Real Me. It’s the login details to the immigration site. You can apply for a visa without creating a login, but my advice to you is to create one. In the appointment with the bank, you’ll be required too login to Real Me so they can print a copy of your visa. Note: your visa type will have an effect on what bank account you can open.
// Bank Cards \\
I had never heard of this before but in New Zealand they have something called EFTPOS. Don’t ask me what it stands for but basically it’s another choice of card. In the appointment you’ll be asked if you want an EFTPOS card or a Visa Debit Card. The difference? EFTPOS is linked to your account but has no chip, no Contactless payment (Kiwi’s call it PayWave), no details on the card and you CANNOT use it online. To pay for anything, you simply swipe the card and enter your pin. The Debit Card, well that works like any other card AND allows you to use it online. The Debit Card however costs you $10 a year.
To start with, I just went for the EFTPOS but soon realised I’m better off with the Debit Card. For the sake of $10 a year, get the Debit Card. Especially if you’re travelling around, it comes in handy when paying for accomodation online. The other option is to use your Credit Card from home but that then means jumping between two different banks. So in short, get the Debit Card!
// Documents \\
To reiterate, here is a clear list of the 4 main things you’ll need when opening a bank account in New Zealand:
Passport – simple enough. You wouldn’t get in the country without one so you’ll be all good for this.
Visa – You need the details of your visa. Don’t bother printing it, the bank have to login to Real Me and print it in the appointment. Make sure you’ve signed up to Real Me prior to the appointment and know your login details.
Tax Details – In the UK we call it a National Insurance Number, you’ll need this to open a bank account.
Proof Of Address – Bank Statement being the easiest. Like I said, amend your most current statement to match your new address… it’s the easiest way. If not, then sign on to a doctor & get them to write a letter or you can use your Tenancy Agreement if you have one.
And finally just to touch upon your IRD. This is the tax number you’ll need, in order to get a job in New Zealand. There seems to be a lot of confusion whether you need this first before opening an account or visa verser. I can confirm, you need an open & active bank account BEFORE applying for your IRD.
Well that post turned out a lot longer than I anticipated, but I really hope it’s helped anyone thinking of moving to New Zealand and/ or needing to open a bank account here. It’s not the simplest of tasks but follow these few steps, GO TO ANZ (not sponsored, wish it was) and you’ll be fine!!
| By Harrison |