Where is the money?

The NZ bank account numbering system was developed by Databank in the late 1960’s so it’s been around for a long time. While I am not aware of any suffixes >99 being used, I’d assume they thought the potential was there at the time they implemented the standard.

Furthermore - the intended use of the suffix is not to denote the number of accounts as commonly thought, but rather the type of account. As it turned out, some banks use it incrementally (Generally starting from zero) and others - like credit unions for example - use it to denote the account type. Some banks use a combination of both.

All NZ banks transact data between each other using 3 digit suffixes. Some years ago I was writing software to produce these transaction records and I had to code it to make sure the suffix was padded with a leading zero irrespective of the number entered.

Once a system is in place it’s a huge (possibly insurmountable) task to “rock the boat” so I don’t see 3 digit suffixes disappearing anytime soon.


Well explained Michaelnz. There are some older bank/branches out there, the like of the old Countrywide, that did operate under a 3 digit suffix and can still be used to make payments to. There are some suffix that are still product centric across all banks and outside those ranges, most banks will let you have a suffix that you want for example a 97 suffix always used to mean a savings account but these days this could be your cheque account if you want.


Well if there are 3 digit accounts in operation, than some bankimg applications like that of ASB are not following the applicable business logic.

If its just there due to 1960s Analysis, then it must be put in the continous improvement program and made to disappear. (This space lot of db space, lot of customer calls, lot of time, brings consistency)

I do not think anyone needs to make any changes, just a bit of common sense logic exists here that was not followed. If you try and put 3 digits into a field of 2 digits, would you not go check what is the number. The person made the call to take 083 and make it 08 when they could have put 83 in.

If it was such a problem then all the banks and contact centres would be inundated with calls, so lets not get carried away with there being such a problem or anything else, it was just user error.


Hmm or all those calls were shrugged off just like this one.
It was not done by a human.
You paste the full number and if the field size is limited, it doesnot paste the full number ( leaves the rest of them).

Drop by drop fills the ocean
and this is how CIP ( continual improvement process) works.

Thanks for your contributions everyone! Great to see so much knowledge being shared :blush: Closing this thread now all questions have been answered :slight_smile:

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