Send money to New Zealand
As one of our neighbouring countries, New Zealand shares close ties with Australia on the migration, trade and sporting front. Every year hundreds of thousands of Aussies and New Zealanders travel across the Tasman, whether for a holiday, business purposes or to visit family.
The Department of Foreign Affairs estimates that about 670,000 or nearly 15% of New Zealand citizens live in Australia, while around 70,000 Australians reside in New Zealand.
As such there are a whole range of reasons why you may need to make an international money transfer to New Zealand:
- Purchasing goods and services for your business
- University fees to support a child studying in New Zealand
- Gift to friends or family living in NZ
- Sending emergency funds to a relative
- Buying property across the Tasman.
If you’re planning a short-term trip to New Zealand in the future, this guide may not be for you. Head over to our travel money section instead where you can compare everything from prepaid travel cards and holiday insurance to overseas debit card fees and travel credit cards.
What are my options for transferring money to New Zealand?
Back in the day, there weren’t many options for sending money to New Zealand. But now with thousands of Australians choosing to live over there and thanks to the close relationship between the two countries, you’ll find plenty more offers are on the table for you. The most common types of IMT providers are banks, foreign exchange (FX) specialists and wire transfers.
- If you need to send money in a hurry your bank can be a good option, as there’s no need to create a separate IMT account.
- In-branch services available for those who prefer face-to-face banking.
- Tend to charge more expensive exchange rates and transfer fees than FX specialists.
- Larger one-off transfers may not fit within the bank’s daily ‘pay anyone’ limit.
Foreign exchange specialist:
- As they specialise in foreign exchange and currency, you can readily access expert support online or over the phone; some even come with personalised account managers who understand each client’s individual circumstances.
- They often offer good value for money, with attractive exchange rates - in fact all of our 2021 Mozo Experts Choice Award winners for best value international money transfer were online FX specialists.
- Fees are usually a lot more modest than the banks.
- Some providers have minimum and maximum transfer limits which may not work in your favour.
- No branches, so you’ll need to be comfortable making money transfer to New Zealand online or over the phone.
Standard wire transfers
A Standard Wire Transfer through a company Western Union or PayPal is a fast and easily accessible way of transferring funds from one person to another. A wire transfer can be made from one bank account to another or through a transfer of cash at a branch.
- Can get fast access to the funds within minutes of a wire transfer from one bank to another
- Can send in person cash transfers
- Over-the-counter service available in many places around the world
- Exchange rates are usually poor and typically come with big fees
- Limited amounts of money can be sent between accounts
Comparing IMT providers: what to look for when exchanging to NZD
Whether you prefer using your existing bank or want to switch to a FX specialist for your next money transfer to New Zealand, the next step is figuring out which specific provider you’ll pick. With so many options to choose from, we’ve made things easier with a list of features to consider when you’re shopping around and comparing providers:
- Exchange rates: The current exchange rate is one of the most important factors to consider. A few cents difference in the rate could make a huge difference as to just how much NZD your recipient receives. Banks and agencies will offer different rates on the NZD so take the time to compare and calculate how much you will get for your Aussie dollar. Remember, the higher the AUD/NZD exchange rate, the more money you will get!
- Fees: You might find your funds may shrink en route to New Zealand. Banks and agencies will charge a fee for converting your money, and you may also be hit with a sending and receiving fee. Some providers may waive these fees if you transfer over a minimum amount.
- Limits: Some international money transfer providers have a maximum and minimum transfer amount. The minimum limit could be as much as $10,000, so you’ll have to hunt around to find one that suits the amount you need to transfer.
- Transfer speed: This is the time it takes from the moment you confirm your transaction to the time your recipient receives it. These days the transfer speed can range from 1 to 5 business days. If you need to send it quickly, talk with your provider and see if they can speed up the process but it may cost you extra or may not be possible. Some providers also allow you to track the transaction online or via their app.
- Transfer Options: You can make your international money transfer online, on the phone or in person, with the latter only available with banks. Each option comes down to your personal situation - whether you prefer the flexibility of transferring online 24/7 or the security of having a banker sit down with you and guide you through the whole IMT process. Just remember that in-branch services tend to be pricier than online or phone transfers.
To get started today, check out a list of exchange rate offers below. Type in the exact amount of Australian dollars (AUD) you want to send, and get an estimate of how many New Zealand dollars (NZD) you’ll receive from each provider. Just remember that exchange rates are always fluctuating, so they’re updated hourly on our site.
This article was a joint contribution between Katherine O'Chee and Maria Gil.
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How money transfers to New Zealand work
Now that you’ve picked a provider, it’s time to break down how an actual transfer to New Zealand would work. While the process will vary slightly from service to service, they'll generally involve the following few steps with a FX specialist:
Step 1: Register (online or by phone) and set up an account with your FX specialist.
Step 2: The broker may contact you to confirm your details and to discuss the transfer.
Step 3: Confirm and make sure you are happy with the costs and exchange rate of the transfer
Step 4: Book the transaction and give the personal and account details of the recipient
Step 5: Pay the agreed amount for the transfer; this is usually done by electronic transfer
Step 6: Once the provider has received the funds, they will send the money electronically to your recipient.
What will I need to set up an international money transfer?
Setting up an international money transfer to New Zealand couldn’t be easier and the whole process can be done in just minutes from the comfort of your own home. Here’s a list of the details you’ll need to provide:
- Your personal details including: name, address, date of birth, country of birth, occupation, phone number
- You’ll have to set up a username, password and security question
- Details of the account where the transfer money will be deposited from
- Recipient's name, address and account number
- Full name and address of their bank
- Their bank’s SWIFT/BIC Code - this is a 8 or 11 digit code that identifies banks around the world. Use this tool to double check you’ve got the right SWIFT/BIC code.
- The amount you wish to send
- Your sending and receiving currency (in your case, it would be AUD and NZD).
Regular vs one off transfers: what are my best options?
For any regular transfers to NZ, you will save yourself money and time by establishing a long term relationship with a foreign exchange specialist. For example, if every month you need to pay school fees for your child’s education in New Zealand, then becoming a regular customer and transferring over a certain amount with one provider has its benefits. They include:
- Lower commission fees
- Ability to negotiate a transfer limit
- Some providers may give you the option of locking in an exchange rate if your transfers remain fixed
- Quick and efficient transfers.
With a one off transfer for a large sum of money - say, for a deposit on a home in Christchurch - your goal should be to find the best or highest AUD/NZD exchange rate possible at the time of your transfer. This would usually belong to a FX specialist as opposed to a bank. The slightly better exchange rate you’ll receive from an IMT specialist translates to potentially hundreds or even thousands saved on that one transfer to New Zealand. With FX specialists, you’ll also find that you aren’t constricted by a daily ‘pay anyone’ limit that many banks have.
For small, one off transfers of around $200 or less, PayPal is a safe, trusted and affordable method for sending money overseas. The transfer is simple, can be done electronically and only takes a couple of minutes. Remember though, both you and the recipient will need a PayPal account. It may also be convenient to just use your local bank to transfer the small amount. But unless you’re in a hurry and need to send funds urgently, it’s always worth shopping around first to make sure you’re getting the cheapest international money transfer deal for your transaction.