Opening a BNZ account for visitors


A friend of mine is visiting NZ for the third time and is asking whether they can open a bnz account so they would put some monthly savings into it

Can they do that and what kinds of documents you guys need .¿


Hi Kiwi79, nice username :wink: your friend can book an appointment to open a new account at any BNZ store. You can find the identification requirements for any non BNZ customers, including foreign nationals here:

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Thanks @Kiwi :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:,
Well explained ,I like how professionally it’s detailed


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I would be surprised if any New Zealand bank will open an account for someone who is just visiting.

My wife - who is a foreign national who is moving to New Zealand - so therefore has a good reason - experienced difficulty with the BNZ. So we went to ANZ and they were good. But we still went in with our marriage certificate, proof of address with her name on it as well, and also her professional papers as evidence she has earning potential in NZ.

For someone who is just a visitor they may have difficulty justifying the need for an account.

I am not a banker but I do observe this subject with interest - and banks around the world have been tightening up their account opening criteria.

This will be less noticed by locals who have an established and good credit history and NZ ID - as the assumption is they have a good reason - but - rightly or wrongly - foreigners do not benefit from that assumption - especially if they don’t hold a work visa.

When I was overseas in the Philippines last year and wanted to open a bank account - I had to go to several banks before I found one who was prepared to open me an account. Even then, they still required I furnish an ACR (Alien Certificate of Registration card) so I had to wait until I had been in the country long enough to qualify.

Ironically - I assumed this was a Philippines thing. The Filipino people are open to foreigners but the business regulatory environment is heavily biased towards locals ie: those with Filipino citizenship. So I told my wife it was different in New Zealand.

Unfortunately, I was mistaken. It’s not that much better here, it’s just that as a NZ citizen I had benefited from that presumption my business was kosher. In just the same way as my wife could open an account at one of the most overtly anti-foreigner banks there (Banco De Oro - The Philippines #1 ranked bank) in an hour (which is efficient by Philippines standards) and by just showing her government issued professional ID and handing over P5,000 (About NZ$140) opening deposit.

One last thing - what country issued your friend’s passport? I doubt any bank will openly say this - but there is a ranking and this will influence whether your friend gets an account. It is unlikely it will influence it positively but it could certainly influence it negatively. If your friend’s passport is issued by a fellow developed western country or one of the developed Asian ones - they will be fine on this account. But if their passport is issued by any jurisdiction which is considered a money laundering / terrorist financing risk, they will be pretty much dead in the water for opening an account. I thought I would also mention that as the subject has arisen in one of the online e-commerce chat forums I am a member of.

I hope this helps. In summary, advise your friend to be pepared to present their best case including being open and transparent about what they will use the account for, why they need it and what the source of funds are.

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Thanks for your time @michaelnz ,
Will make sure they get prepared beforehand

I’m myself not New Zealander “yet”:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
I opened my bnz account since 2005 when I was a student there .

I got a bnz creditcard “ no problem” at that time , left NZ for ten yrs and got back for a visit again , updated my info from “ A to Z”

“ Managed to keep my account as active as I could , including my bnz credit card, as I plan to come back again for good

Upgraded to bnz advantage platinum “ no problems “

I’ve established some sort of loyalty to bnz
Yes, probably you’re right ‘ they got a bit tight in some areas .

Thanks for your time again

I hope your friend can sort it out @Kiwi79

All this weirdness has happened recently. I think in the past 2 years or so.