About New Zealand
New Zealand is a long and narrow, island country, located in the Pacific Ocean. Because of its mountainous landscape, it is often named ‘the land of the long white cloud’. New Zealand’s original inhabitants where the Maoris, who have a strong islander culture, and still live in New Zealand society today, but in the early 1800’s they signed a treaty, and New Zealand became a colony of Britain. This act opened the doors for many new immigrants from diverse lands, however the country still remains small and almost untouched, due to its remote island status.
New Zealand is located near Australia, and many Australians and New Zealand citizens transfer between both counties interchangeably, to live, work and study. Their cultures however, are remarkably different, as is the history and geographical climate of both countries. The strong relationship between Australia and New Zealand however, provides great ease if you are planning on doing business in New Zealand. Many services and financial institutions are more accessible, and you’ll find the transition very simple.
Banking in New Zealand
Banking in New Zealand is similar to banking in Australia, and the systems are well established and utilise the latest in technology. Expect to be able to access a wide variety of branches, ATM’s and a diverse range of financial services.
To access and manage your money, you can use telephone banking, credit cards, debit cards, online banking and EFTPOS. Most retail purchases in New Zealand are completed with a credit card or EFTPOS, rather than cash. You will however need to carry some cash for small purchases, and some services in remote areas may not have credit card or EFTPOS facilities available.
Travel Banking in New Zealand
If you are planning to travel to New Zealand, consider opening a bank account there, before you leave your own country. This will save time when you arrive, and you will be able to access money straight away. However, most major banks that provide a service allowing your money to be accessed in other countries via ATM’s, will allow you to withdraw money in the same way while you are in New Zealand. Whether you open your own bank account in New Zealand, or use your bank account from home, will be a decision that is affected by the length and purpose of your stay.
Major Banks in New Zealand
Two major banks in New Zealand include the ASB, which is a New Zealand bank owned by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. It also has several sub entities including Bank Direct, which does not have a branch, and allows you to save money on fees, using Internet and telephone banking. Also, the Bank of New Zealand is another local bank, which is part of the National Australia Bank Group. Most major banks in New Zealand have a strong network of ATMS and provide various financial services, including home loans, investment banking and personal banking. Some may offer other services, including insurance and financial advice.
Currency in New Zealand
New Zealand currency is the New Zealand dollar, which is part of the decimal system. One New Zealand dollar is divided into one hundred cents. The New Zealand currency system is also used in several nearby island locations, and the New Zealand dollar is one of the most traded units in the world. If you are travelling in New Zealand though, it might be advisable to change your currency before you leave, or change it in Australia, as other countries may not be able to do this for you, despite its popularity on the international market.