How to Open a New Zealand Bank Account Without a Proof of Address + The Quickest Ways to Open a Bank Account in New Zealand
So you’ve landed in New Zealand and you want to start work or save on the exchange rates right away? Then you want to know the quickest way to open a bank account in New Zealand! While we have a full guide on how to open a New Zealand bank account right here, these extra tips are ways to make sure your bank account is opened quickly.
One of the main things that stump migrants or travellers from overseas, perhaps studying or taking a gap year in New Zealand, when it comes to opening a bank account is that New Zealand banks require you to have “proof of a New Zealand address”. But what if you’ve just arrived and you don’t have an address yet? Well, there is an easy way around it, which we’ll share with you in this guide.
How to Find a Proof of Address for Opening a New Zealand Bank Account
One of the biggest hurdles migrants, students and working holidaymakers experience when trying to open a bank account quickly is finding proof of address. Because you need a New Zealand address, this leaves those with no connections in New Zealand scratching their heads. Especially as some banks call for “utility bills”, “rental” or “houseshare agreements” as an example of proof of address.
Luckily, there is an easy way which is asking your accommodation to write a letter to say that their address is your proof of address. Hostels in Auckland are especially used to this, but make sure to ask them as soon as you arrive (or even double-check with them when you book your nights) so this part of the bank opening process goes smoothly. Note, however, that ASB has been known to not accept hostel letters as proof of accommodation.
Alternatively, ANZ and BNZ are two of the only banks in New Zealand that allow you to apply for a bank account with an overseas address before arriving in New Zealand. This process is best done online, then you will need to verify your bank account in person in a branch once you arrive in New Zealand (note that you may have to change your address to a New Zealand address when visiting a bank branch). See How to Open a New Zealand Bank Account for more details.
More Tips to Open Your New Zealand Bank Account Quickly
1. Book an Appointment with the Bank ASAP
As soon as you know the earliest time and place you will be able to attend an appointment to open your bank account in New Zealand, book right away. In busy cities, it could take up to a month for the next available bank appointment, so book as soon as you can for your desired date.
2. Register with a Forex Agent Early to Save Money on International Transfers
Using forex agents such as Wise or XE Money can save you hundreds or even thousands on your international bank transfers. They charge minimal fees for international transfers compared to mainstream banks and usually process transfers faster thanks to their speciality networks. Plus, some of them such as XE Money will offer your first transfer free of charge. Registering early is free and will allow you to get your money transferred faster when arriving in New Zealand.
3. Open Your Bank Account Outside of the City Centre
Most working holidaymakers, migrants and students coming to New Zealand start their trips in Auckland, meaning that getting an appointment at a bank branch in Auckland Central is a mission. A way around this is to open your bank account at one of the suburban branches instead. Yes, you might have to take a bus or train if you are staying in the city, but it will be worth it to save heaps of time on opening your bank account. This same method applies in Christchurch too.
4. Contact the Bank Before Arriving in New Zealand
One of the quickest ways to open a bank account once you arrive would be to open a “limited account” before arriving in New Zealand, which is certainly an option for international students and migrants with a job already lined up in New Zealand. Then, all you need to do is to book an appointment and show up to a bank account in person to get your account verified. However, most banks in New Zealand have recently changed this process that people on a working holiday visa have to open a bank account in person at one of their branches.
Get in touch with your chosen New Zealand bank before arriving in New Zealand to see if your case would allow this. We have more details on the subject in our comprehensive guide on How to Open a New Zealand Bank Account.
5. Have Everything You Need to Open a Bank Account
One of the biggest setbacks to opening a New Zealand bank account quickly is showing up to your bank appointment without all the correct paperwork. Your bank should tell you what they require you to bring when you make the bank appointment. However, they usually call for proof of address (see above), proof of identification (your passport), your overseas Tax Identification Number, and possibly a copy of your visa.
6. Get a New Zealand Phone Number Before Opening Your Bank Account
That way you can actually make the appointment! Banks also prefer you to have a New Zealand phone number when setting up your bank account so they can call you if any changes are made to your bank appointment. Find out how to set up your phone in New Zealand in our guide, What are the Best Phone Networks in New Zealand?
What to Do After You Have Opened Your New Zealand Bank Account
Remember, to start work you will also need an IRD Number which you can apply for as soon as you open a bank account. Follow the advice on How to Get an IRD Number so that you will be paying the correct taxes when you work.
Also once you open your bank account, you’ll want to transfer some money into your New Zealand bank account so we’ve put together this pro and con list of the different methods to transfer money between overseas bank accounts.
More on How to Open a New Zealand Bank Account Without an Address
That’s it for our guide on how to open a New Zealand bank account without an address. Opening a bank account is all part of your first week’s steps in New Zealand, so 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.