When it comes to banking service providers in New Zealand, we are spoilt for choice with more than thirty banks!
Whether size and security, low interest on credit or access to modern banking facilities is what's important to you, we’re going to help you find your ideal bank!
New Zealand’s leading banks
The largest banks in New Zealand include ANZ, ASB Bank, Kiwi Bank as well as Bank of New Zealand. Cooperative Bank and SBS Bank follow shortly behind these in fifth and sixth place. These banks make up the majority of the market share and keep the banking industry competitive and thriving!
Banking services offered
There are a wide range of banking services and products offered by the big banks. This includes a range of bank accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, personal loans, home loans and foreign exchange.
There are also insurance options as well as online banking and transacting services. Many of the big banks offer a range of banking services designed for businesses and business owners which include loans, consultation service, insurance and merchant services.
Which bank should I choose?
When it comes to choosing the right bank for your individual needs it helps to know what is important to you. Do you do lots of online transactions? You need a bank that offers cutting edge online banking. If you’re looking for a home loan you will have to compare interest rates and loan terms to find the best deal.
Credit unions & building societies
If you’re someone that travels a lot, choosing a bank that offer flexible and affordable foreign exchanges services is the way to go. If you’re looking for affordable and simple banking services perhaps you’ll prefer to opt for a building society or a credit union.
When it comes to the smaller lenders and deposit takers it helps to do your research beforehand to ensure they are reliable.
You can do this by finding and comparing the non-bank deposit taker’s credit scoring which is usually made up a three letters from AAA to CCC, with the former being a riskier lender.
What are credit unions & what do they offer?
Credit unions are non-profit banking and lending services providers that are registered as non-bank lenders and offer almost all the products and services that banks do but their customers are also owners.
Their products may not always be as advanced and sophisticated but they are cheaper since the interest rates, account fees and changes are always the most competitive on the market.
Popular credit unions in New Zealand
One of the largest and most popular credit unions in the country is NZCU Baywide who offer a wide range of products and services that are very competitive and keep up with some of the big banks!
When it comes to bank fees, you can spend a lot of money without even being aware of it.
Top tips to save on banking fees:
- Ensure all debit orders are drawn on you payday to avoid dishonour fees.
- Avoid any late payment fees by setting up debit orders for credit card payments and loan repayments.
- Review you bank fees at least once every 3 months and consider changing your account or upgrading your account to merge or reduce transactions fees.
- Do not draw cash.
- If you usually experience a cash shortage prior to payday consider setting up an overdraft rather than paying dishonour fees.
- If you’re over 65 or a student, get an account tailored to you with low or no transactions fees.
- Switch banks if you can secure better deals and lower fees.
Comparing providers & loans with loan comparison sites
There are a wide range of loan and financial product comparison sites that will allow you to quickly and accurately compare different products based on the metrics that are important to you.
This may be a specific loan amount or the lowest interest rate on the market. For those who travel you can find credit cards that offer points for flights and lounge services and for those who are home bodies you can get a credit card that offers cash back rewards for your regular grocery shopping.
Making use of a loan comparison website allows you to access a wide range of lenders and products which will lead to massive savings in the long run.
In addition to saving money by being able to access lower rates you will be able to find new features and benefits which will make your life simpler.
Will switching providers lower my credit score?
It is however, important to note that should you wish to swap providers for a better rate, particularly for power, this may affect your credit score.
Prior to switching banks and closing accounts, it’s a great idea to contact you bank and inform them of your intentions.
You may find that they may be willing to match or beat the offer you’re leaving them for. This will save you a lot of time and effort!
High tech banking services & products
Online banking and credit card purchases are nothing new but the major banks and credit unions of New Zealand are always looking for technological advancements and improvements to make their customer’s lives simpler and better.
Contactless payments are now becoming standard with the magnetic strip that credit and debit cards were once synonymous with having become obsolete. From getting a quick loan on your mobile phone to downloading verified bank statements in a single click the advancements are incredible and ready to serve you.
Should you use more than one bank for your financial needs?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question and it depends entirely on your lifestyle, needs and ability to manage your finances.
When it comes to home loans and vehicle finance we generally feel more comfortable making use of multiple banks and lenders in order to get a better deal.
When it comes to other products like credit cards and savings accounts however, we start feeling like it’s a hassle to have to keep track of these accounts and passwords.
If you’re financially savvy and enjoy making and sticking to plans, goals and budget making use of multiple banks will provide you with the advantage of product diversity and competitive rates which will result in significant savings.
If you struggle to manage your finances, using one provider for your banking and lending needs will simplify your life and help you manage your finances better.