How to Set Up a Temporary Bank Account in New Zealand

© Pixabay

Get a Temporary New Zealand Bank Account

There are plenty of benefits of having a bank account while in New Zealand: no outrageous exchange rates and not to mention getting paid if you are working in New Zealand. When you are on a working holiday, work or student visa for just a few months in New Zealand, you will want to open a temporary bank account. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for temporary bank accounts in New Zealand.

Most banks have a standard bank account option which allows you to do all the essentials like online banking and getting a debit card. You are not bound by any yearly contracts. In this guide, we’ll show you how to open a New Zealand bank account and how to close your bank account.

How Long Do You Need to Be in New Zealand to Open a Bank Account?

Some bank branches across New Zealand do not allow you to open a bank account if you’re on a visa for less than six months or less than a year. However, different branches of the same bank have different policies on this. We have found that it’s best to try branches outside of large city centres. If a bank doesn’t allow you to open an account for your desired amount of time, you can always try an alternative.

How to Set Up a Temporary Bank Account in New Zealand© NZPocketGuide.com

6 Best New Zealand Banks to Open a Temporary Account With

A temporary bank account will be a “standard” bank account which is not bound by contracts. You can close these bank accounts at any time, but you need proof of your visa to open an account in the first place.

With that in mind, here is a quick comparison of the main New Zealand bank companies and their standard bank accounts. Standard accounts (which may be also referred to as “everyday accounts”) allow you to do online banking, withdraw money from ATMs and include a debit card, otherwise known as EFTPOS in New Zealand.

  1. ANZ – No monthly fees and no annual fees for a Visa debit card. Plus, you can use your overseas address as proof of address if you haven’t yet got a New Zealand address (see below)
  2. BNZ – No monthly fees and no annual fee for a debit Visa card. Note that you can apply for a bank account online, then verifying your account at a branch in person requires no appointment
  3. The Co-Operative Bank – NZ$5 monthly fee (or free if you maintain a NZ$4,000 daily balance) and NZ$10 per year for a debit MasterCard
  4. ASB – No monthly fees (if you stop paper statements) and NZ$5/six months for a Visa debit card. Note that ASB tends to be the strictest about your New Zealand proof of address, so it can be hard to open an account when you first arrive in the country
  5. Westpac – No monthly fees and a free MasterCard for the first year. Note that Westpac requires evidence of employment to open an account
  6. KiwiBankNo monthly fees but a one-off NZ$10 fee for a Visa debit card. Note that work visas must be more than one year to bank with KiwiBank. 
How to Set Up a Temporary Bank Account in New Zealand© NZPocketGuide.com

How to Open a Temporary Bank Account in New Zealand

The easiest way to open a New Zealand bank account is in person at a New Zealand bank branch. First, you will need to book an appointment to open your bank account. While booking your appointment, you will be told what you need to bring to the appointment, which usually includes:

  • Your passport
  • Your overseas tax identification number (this has different names depending on what country you are from, such as national identity, social security, personal or tax number)
  • A copy of your visa
  • Proof of address (and yes, this needs to be a New Zealand address. For advice on where to get one if you have just arrived from overseas, check out How to Open a New Zealand Bank Account).

At your appointment, you will be given an electronic debit card which New Zealanders call “EFTPOS” (it’s just a debit card). You also have the option to purchase a MasterCard or Visa debit card which will allow you to make payments online. Your MasterCard/Visa will be available to pick up from the branch or can be sent to a chosen address within a few days.

For tips on how to speed up this process, take a look at the 6 Tips to Quickly Open a Bank Account in New Zealand. Plus, if you want to learn how to set up a bank account before arriving in New Zealand, check out our comprehensive guide on How to Open a New Zealand Bank Account.

pxhere© pxhere

How to Transfer Money onto Your New Zealand Bank Account

No doubt, once you have opened a temporary New Zealand bank account, you will want to transfer some funds onto it. There are several ways of doing this, all with their own costs and benefits. For instance, using a forex broker such as XE Money or Wise can help you save on bank fees (your first international transfer with XE money, for example, is free) compared to a traditional bank transfer.

If you are transferring money onto a New Zealand bank account from overseas, then follow our guide on How to Transfer Money to Your New Zealand Bank Account.

If you are transferring money between New Zealand bank accounts, then check out What Details Do You Need to Transfer Money.

pxhere© pxhere

How to Close Your New Zealand Bank Account

Closing your bank account is super easy if you close your account while you’re still in New Zealand. First, make sure your bank account has zero balance. You can do this by withdrawing the money when you close the account or by transferring your money to another bank account. Travellers can find out how to do that in How to Send Money Overseas from a New Zealand Bank Account. Or, if you’re sending to Australia, check out our tips in How to Send Money to Australia from New Zealand.

How to Close Your Bank Account in New Zealand

Book an appointment to close your New Zealand bank account at a New Zealand branch. Take your passport and all your New Zealand bank cards with you. The appointment should only take around 20 minutes if your account is free from overdrafts.

How to Close Your New Zealand Bank Account from Overseas

Closing your bank account from overseas, however, is a little trickier and the best thing you can do is call your bank over the phone who will give you specific instructions.

For more information on how to close a bank account, check out How to Close a Bank Account in New Zealand.

How to Set Up a Temporary Bank Account in New Zealand© NZPocketGuide.com

Don’t Forget Your Tax Refund

If you have worked in New Zealand you are entitled to a tax refund at the end of the financial year. Even if you have left New Zealand, you can log onto your online IRD account and apply for your tax refund yourself.

Find out more about getting a tax return in How to Get Your Tax Refund in New Zealand.

More About Banking in New Zealand

That’s it for our guide on how to open a temporary New Zealand bank account. For more banking advice for a gap year or temporary stay in New Zealand, check out the following:

Opening a temporary bank account is all part of your first week’s steps in New Zealand. Check out our Complete Guide: First Week of a New Zealand Working Holiday or First Week of Arriving in New Zealand: International Student Guide for more guidance for your first week in the country, as well as the 20 Essential Must-Dos BEFORE Moving to New Zealand.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

Was this article useful?

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter