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Banks in
New Zealand

The banks in New Zealand, like any other bank in the world, love your money, especially those that are brought over from overseas. And just like any other bank, they suck your money slowly through all the different taxes, fees and charges imposed on about every service they provide. However as we move into the future, less and less people are having to actually go to the bank at all, where you can now use a ATM to withdraw and deposit money, and also use the internet to monitor your accounts and make transfers. But of course every so often you will need to physically go to the bank. The bank hours in New Zealand vary from bank to bank. There are banks that open at 9 am and close 4:30pm, others open 10am and close 5 pm. So just to be on the safe side, you should plan to go to the bank between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.

Opening a bank account is as easy as taking candy from a baby. All you need is the extraordinary amount of NZ$1 and you can be a happy bank account holder. The process is simple and very similar to the one in Australia. If you are a resident you have to show proof of identity such as passport, or driver license and fill out a form. If you are student you will also need to show a student card. Banks offer special deals for students and immigrants with reduced taxes and charges. To know which is the best bank, with the cheapest rates is an almost impossible task. For example some may charge no transaction fees, but have a higher account fee, and other may have the opposite. So its worth while to research and do your homework.

There are many different accounts in which you can choose from. A Check Account, which is pretty much worthless if you don't have a lot of money being moved around. Checks in New Zealand are more and more becoming a thing of the past. In case they do need to use a check (paying for the bond of a rental house) then they simply get a bank check, or a check which can be purchased from the post office. An account which is more popular is the Savings account. With this account you don't receive a check book, but an electronic card, which can be used at any ATM to make deposits and withdrawals. The maximum you can take out of your account through an ATM per day is around NZ$800 -NZ$1000. This account will see you earning microscopic interest, but I guess its better than nothing. Be careful though when withdrawing money from an ATM machine that is not from your bank, as you will be slapped with a pretty expensive transaction fee. Bank cards are accepted at most shops, even the smallest ones, through EFTPOS system, which they scan your card and you put in your card code. When paying for a purchase through your bank card you may also ask for cash out, which means you can pay for the purchase and also get cash from your account, saving you having to go to an ATM and account fees. 

The maximum you can take out of your account through an ATM per day is around NZ$800 -NZ$1000. This account will see you earning microscopic interest, but I guess its better than nothing. Be careful though when withdrawing money from an ATM machine that is not from your bank, as you will be slapped with a pretty expensive transaction fee. Bank cards are accepted at most shops, even the smallest ones, through EFTPOS system, which they scan your card and you put in your card code. When paying for a purchase through your bank card you may also ask for cash out, which means you can pay for the purchase and also get cash from your account, saving you having to go to an ATM and account fees. 

New Zealand has 16 registered banks

       The most popular ones in our opinion are:

         ANZ National Bank Limited

         ASB Bank Limited

         Bank of New Zealand

         National bank

         St George Bank New Zealand Limited

         Westpac Banking Corporation

Many people use the Western Union to make overseas transactions. However a percentage of around $50 is taxed, and it is only worth while with amounts greater than $500. In Australia and New Zealand, the post office operates the Western Union system. For those overseas students who are enrolling in a school, the majority of schools accept credit cards, which can be paid using the fax or telephone. You can also choose to pay by Electronic transfer, but this method normally acquires higher fees and takes a longer time to be processed The credit cards which are most widely accepted in New Zealand are Visa, Master  card, and American Express. You can use this card to withdraw money in any ATM.

There are not limits on the amount that you can bring or take from NZ. But any amount higher than $10,000 needs to be declared on the custom form, which you need to fill when you are entering or leaving New Zealand.  
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