Banking in New Zealand

Student using bank atm

Using bank services

New Zealand has a safe and efficient banking system with a full range of accounts and banking services available.

We highly recommend that you open a New Zealand bank account to make sure that your money is kept safely and easily accessible.

When to open an account

You can open an account either before or after your arrival in New Zealand. For safety reasons, we recommend that you do not travel with or carry a large amount of cash. Instead you might like to transfer your funds electronically directly into your New Zealand bank account. Large organisations, including the University, also prefer funds to be transferred electronically.

Banks to choose from

There are a wide range of banks to choose from and most offer international student packages.

To activate your account and get a student account, you will usually need to visit the bank in person with:

  1. photo ID
  2. proof of address, and
  3. proof of enrolment (for example, your Canterbury Card or your offer of place document).

There are several banks near the University and ATMs on campus. Banks are normally open from 9.00am to 4.30pm from Monday to Friday, but most banks offer internet and phone banking with 24 hour access.

EFTPOS cards (debit cards) are very common in New Zealand and can be used in most shops to make small (eg candy bar) to large (eg mobile phone) purchases.

For more information