Hi, I moved back to NZ a few years ago after a very long OE. I’ve still had to keep bank accounts in other countries because I can’t find a NZ bank that will let me spend my own foreign-denominated money.
By that I mean, I have savings in GBP and EUR that I want to keep in those currencies for when I’m travelling in the UK and Europe. Many NZ banks will let me open GBP or EUR bank accounts BUT I can only transact on those accounts via internet banking transfers. There seems to be no way to actually SPEND that money via EFTPOS/credit card/debit card/online services requiring a card number/ATMs. So it’s therefore no use when travelling.
I was sold a “cash passport” travel money card, but turns out it doesn’t help, as the only way to load funds is via a NZD bank account and then converting the NZD to the foreign currency. Which means I suffer two fx transactions (and associated risk + margin costs).
My bank in Europe - just an ordinary bank account, nothing special - allows me to hold funds in multiple currencies. When I use my debit card (in an ATM, in a shop, or online) it first debits the currency of the transaction, then if insufficient funds there it reverts to debiting my base currency.
Given that Kiwis are such prolific travellers I should think there would be a demand for an account like this in New Zealand. It would be useful to know whether this is even on the development plan for BNZ [or other banks in NZ] or if I should keep open my overseas bank account even though I’d rather not!