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How to open a bank account

With a few things in place you can open an account without too much hassle, here’s how to pull it off.

Get prepared

To open the account you’ll need to visit a bank branch or open a new account online. After filling out the application form on the bank’s website, you’ll receive an email with the details of your new account within a few business days (Monday to Friday), and you can start depositing money. You will still need to visit your local branch to activate your new account.

Whatever bank you choose to open an account with, make sure you talk to them about what will be the cheapest and most cost effective accounts for you.

Activating your account

To activate your account you’ll need to provide the following:

  • Proof of address in New Zealand. It doesn’t have to be a permanent address, most accommodation providers will give you a letter confirming where you are staying. Other address verification can be a Work & Income letter addressed to you, a court document, your tenancy agreement or a a power or phone bill.
  • A Form of ID – this could be your passport or your birth certificate.
  • A second form of ID – such as your national identity card or driver’s license.
  • Some cash to deposit into your new account.

Why we like Kiwibank

Kiwibank is owned by the same crowd as New Zealand Post so you’ll be able to perform transactions in every town that has a post office. This can be a great help if you are travelling around a bit. At Kiwibank/New Zealand Post shops you can also apply for your IRD number from Inland Revenue.

Your first card

Once you’ve opened your account, some banks will give you a card that can be used immediately. Otherwise your card will be sent to you through the post or sent to your local branch at a later date. Usually banks send paper statement to your registered address, which you need to pay for. Be sure to cancel these paper statements to avoid unwanted fees.

Youth accounts

If you’re under 19 years old, most banks have youth accounts with low fees. They often require slightly less information from you to open as well.