New Zealand is a country split into two islands, North and South. The largest area of population is the North Island which is the home to around three quarters of the New Zealand population with well over 3 million residents. It is dominated by the largest city, Auckland, the only city in New Zealand with a population of over one million people. The next largest cities are Wellington and Hamilton. Although larger in area by one third than the North Island, the South Island is less populous and the largest cities are Christchurch and Dunedin.
There are many banks operating in New Zealand offering a variety of services. International banks such as Rabobank, Deutsche Bank and Citibank have a presence but New Zealand based banks or those with strong Antipodean links dominate the market. The Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Australia Bank but has operated in the country since 1861 when a branch was opened in Dunedin. Other major banks include ANZ Bank of New Zealand, Westpac New Zealand and ASB Bank which is majority owned by Commonwealth Bank which has a strong Australian presence. Kiwibank is a wholly owned subsidiary of New Zealand Post and offers banking service through a national network of post offices and book stores.
There are several reasons why it may be necessary to send payments to New Zealand, the most likely being payments home from people working abroad or to complete a business or property transaction. It is possible to use a high street bank to complete a money transfer but the use of a specialist foreign exchange provider could help lower the cost of the transaction, as the spread between what a currency can be bought and sold at determines the attractiveness of the exchange rate provided.
When making a payment in New Zealand Dollars (NZD), the local currency of New Zealand, it will be necessary to determine an exchange rate in advance of the transaction. It may be possible to fix a rate for a forward date to provide some certainty over the cost of the transaction. This can be useful when purchasing a property because it is important that the cost of the property does not fluctuate significantly, once the detail of the deal has been agreed. Foreign currency transfer companies use their market knowledge and experience to offer quick and efficient transactions for a fraction of the cost of a traditional bank. Not only do users save money on transaction costs, they are usually given a significantly more attractive exchange rate than could be obtained in a bank.
Typical clearing periods required for foreign currency payments to New Zealand are one day. The use of a specialist currency expert provider may not offer anything other than a comparably quick service but the opportunity to reduce the cost of the transaction is available.