BNZ international transfer: fees, rates and transfer times explained

Roberto Efflandrin

A reliable, fast and affordable way to send money abroad is absolutely essential for many businesses. You might also need to make an international payment for other reasons – for example, to send a birthday gift to a friend, pay for goods or services, or help a family member out with a loan.

If you’re a customer of Bank of New Zealand (BNZ), you’ll be able to make international payments through your account. But how much exactly will it cost, and how long will the transfer take to go through? We’ll answer these questions and more below, so that you’ll have all the info you need to complete an international transfer with BNZ.

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BNZ International money transfer fees

If you send and receive money internationally on a regular basis, it’s essential to be aware of the full range of fees charged by BNZ for transfers between countries. After all, you don’t want to be caught out by an unexpected charge.

Also, remember that fees may vary depending on the country you’re sending to, what kind of account you have with BNZ and a range of other terms and conditions.

BNZ international transfer fees table

International Transfer service Fees in NZD¹
Outgoing international transferOutgoing international transfer $5 per online self-service payment

$25 for staff-assisted payments$25 for staff-assisted payments

Incoming international transfer $10 if received by BNZ and credited to a BNZ account

$15if received by NNZ and credited to an account at another bank

Incoming international transfer $25 if credited to another bank or uplifted in cash
In addition overseas correspondents may charge a fee for processing the international payment.

BNZ vs Wise: A cost example

To understand better the fees of an international transfer with BNZ, let’s imagine you want to send $1,000 to a friend or family member’s EUR account in France, Europe. How much will it cost you to use your bank, compared to using a dedicated international transfer solution like Wise?

Provider Fee in NZD Exchange rate Total cost
BNZ 1000 NZD to EUR $5 Exchange rate + markup $5 + correspondent fees + exchange rate markup
Wise 1000 NZD to EUR $4.74 The real mid-market exchange rate $4.74 total fees paid. See calculation here

Sending a transfer online with BNZ will be quite cheap upfront. Keeping an eye on the fine print will save you lots.

BNZ states:

“In addition overseas correspondents may charge a fee for processing the international payment. Unless you instruct BNZ that the Charges Our fee is to apply, then any overseas correspondent’s fees will be deducted from the payment to the beneficiary or charged to you by us if the overseas correspondent has charged us directly for this service. Beneficiary bank charges may still apply.”

To work out which is cheaper, you’ll need to factor in all costs including intermediary bank fees and exchange rate markups charged by your bank. Let’s take a quick look at BNZ’s exchange rate used.

BNZ currency exchange rates

Exchange rates can sometimes make the process of sending money internationally a little more complicated – and expensive.

BNZ’s terms and conditions document state:

The FX margin you receive will automatically improve based on the amount you want to convert in any single transaction.²

So this is an exchange rate they come up with instead of the actual rate of the day. It includes a margin which gives you better rates/preferential pricing if you send larger amounts over $99,999 NZD.

Here is an example from the BNZ international transfer calculator:

Following up on our transfer to our recipient’s french EUR account we mentioned earlier:

Rates Rate and Amount Amount receiver gets
Bank of New Zealand² 1 NZD = 0.5992 EUR 599.20 EUR Not including sending/intermediary/recipient bank fees
Wise 1 NZD = 0.611897 EUR Mid market rate 611.90 EUR - an upfront transfer fee of 4.47 gives the recipient** 609 EUR**

*Rates as seen on 25 July 2022

🚨Your recipient gets 10 EUR more with Wise, even before we consider any additional transfer fees that may be levied before they receive the money. The BNZ indicative rate of the day is marked up by 2.1% on the mid market rate

It's clear to see a transparent transfer service like Wise is the way to go if you want to save big.

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How do you make an international bank transfer with Bank of New Zealand?

On to the process of sending money overseas with BNZ.

There are 3 main ways you can make an international money transfer (IMT), also known as a telegraphic transfer (TT):

Transfer money Online - Via Internet banking

You can send money via Internet Banking on business days between 7am–11pm NZT (Monday to Friday, excluding New Zealand public holidays).³

Login to your account on the BNZ internet banking portal and follow these steps:

  1. Open the menu on the left-hand side and select ‘International’ from the list of menu options
  2. If prompted, follow the instructions for authenticating the transaction using the BNZ mobile app or NetGuard card
  3. Choose the account you want to send your payment from and fill in other required details
  4. Choose an existing payee or set up a new payee
  5. Follow the instructions to complete and confirm your payment.

Transfer money via the BNZ APP

You can send money abroad using your BNZ app as well.⁴

  1. Log in tot he app and select International Payment from the menu.
  2. Select your Payee. If you have not saved the payee you’ll need to do that first.
  3. Select the account you want to send the money from and follow the transfer flow.
  4. Verify and confirm your transfer fees, details and terms before completing it.

Transfer money “In person” at a local branch

The easiest and quickest way to arrange an international transfer is via internet banking, but it’s also relatively straightforward to do it in person. Head to your nearest branch with the relevant details (i.e. the recipient’s bank details) and a member of staff will guide you through the process.

Keep in mind that this will cost you $25 or 5 times the fee to send it via app or internet banking.

Transfer money via phone

BNZ tends to signpost customers towards making international payments online or in a branch, but it is also possible to get assistance by phone. You can call the 24-hour phoneline on 0800 275 269 for assistance setting up or managing an international transfer.

What recipient details do you need to make the transfer?

You need:

  • Payee’s full name and street (physical) address.
  • Payee’s bank account number and the currency the account is held in. Depending on the location of the recipient bank, you may need an IBAN for the EU and other countries, a Sort Code for the UK or Routing number for the USA.
  • Payee’s bank name, branch name and branch address.

Additional fees transfer service fees

With BNZ international transfers via SWIFT, there is the possibility that anywhere between 0-3 intermediary banks within the network will be involved. It often depends on where you’re sending money from and to.

It’s custom for these intermediary banks to charge flat fees for their involvement in the transfer.

Although these aren’t BNZ fees, it’s still important to ask your bank about additional fees from intermediary banks. Disappointingly, this is something that not all banks mention upfront, and it can catch many customers by surprise.

Your bank may not provide you with the exact fees or exchange rate markup, but it should be able to give you some information.

There is an alternative to all this uncertainty though. Banks like BNZ have something called a ‘Charges Our’ fee. This is a flat fee of $20 which you can tell BNZ you’d like to pay instead of all those correspondent/intermediary bank fees.

Now, let’s take a look at the other additional fees BNZ charges for international transfer services:

International Transfer service Additional Fees¹
Sending/recipient bank and/or intermediary bank(s) Correspondent/receiving bank fees + or BNZ’s ‘Charges Our’ fee of $20 per payment in lieu of correspondent bank fees + exchange rate markup
Cancelling a transfer $25 per payment
Tracing a transfer $25 per payment
Amending a transfer $25 per payment

What are the online transfer limits for sending money abroad with BNZ

There is a daily transaction limit of $100,000 which applies to international/telegraphic transfers initiated via Internet Banking.

What info do you need to receive an international bank transfer with BNZ?

If someone in another country is planning to send money to you here in New Zealand, you will need to provide them with a few key details.⁵

  • Your BNZ account number.
  • Domestic numbers include the four digit branch number, seven digit account and three digit suffix, shown in this format: 02-NNNN-NNNNNNN-NNN while a foreign account number will have this format NNNNNN-NNNN
  • Your bank’s SWIFT or Bank Identifier Code (BIC) BKNZNZ22Your account name (full name)
  • Your bank’s full address.
  • Your physical (street) address (not a PO Box)
  • Your full account number to be credited

You might also need to agree with the sender who is going to pay any charges that apply to the payment.

How long does an international bank transfer with BNZ take?

The short answer to this is that it varies from 3-5 days or slightly longer. It all depends on where you’re sending from, the country you’re sending to and how many intermediary banks are involved. This is the case for all SWIFT international transfers, not just with BNZ.

If you need your transfer to happen particularly urgently or are worried about delays, get in touch with BNZ directly for an idea of how long it may take.

Contacting Bank of New Zealand

You can find out more by contacting BNZ on their content page.

You can also call from within New Zealand 0800 275 269 (24 hours) or from overseas on the international line +64 4 931 8209. International toll charges apply.

Wrapping up

This guide should give you all the info you need to know to arrange BNZ international transfers. As you can see, though, banks aren’t always the cheapest, fastest or most convenient for whizzing money around the globe – especially considering the uncertainty of intermediary bank charges that may be added in along the way.

So, make sure you check out and compare all fees and exchange rate markups carefully before hitting ‘confirm’, and perhaps consider using alternative services like Wise which could save you money.

With Wise, you’ll know the exchange rate your money will be converted at, the transfer fees and what your recipient will receive, before you commit to the transfer.

Open your Wise account in minutes 🚀

So if you’re looking for a way to simplify the process, Wise is definitely worth checking out.

Use our pricing calculator below to have an idea of how much you get to save sending money overseas with Wise.


Sources:
  1. BNZ transfer service fees
  2. BNZ exchange rate calculator
  3. Making a invernet banking international transfer BNZ
  4. Making an international payment on the BNZ App
  5. Receiving international payments with BNZ

Sources checked on 25 July 2022


Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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