How to open a bank account with Kiwibank. The requirements, account types and fees.

Roberto Efflandrin

Kiwibank, the biggest state-owned bank has just turned 20 and recently celebrated its first 1 million customers - not bad in a country with approximately 5 million inhabitants.¹ This article will guide you through what account types Kiwibank has to offer its customers, the fees and the steps to open a bank account with Kiwibank.

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Types of accounts

Kiwibank offers its customers an everyday transaction account and several savings accounts. The types of bank accounts available include²:

Everyday transaction accounts

  • Free Up account

Savings accounts

  • Fast Forward Saver account
  • Back-up Saver account
  • Notice Saver account
  • Online Call Account

Kids savings accounts

  • First Saver Account

Kiwibank also offers a range of business accounts, credit card products, home loans, Term Deposits, insurance products and personal loans to their customers.²

How do you open these account types?

The two popular accounts to open are the Free-Up and Fast-forward Saver account. Customers can also open joint accounts at Kiwibank. Let’s go through the eligibility requirements and steps on how to open each of these accounts.

How to open a Free Up everyday account with Kiwibank?

To be able to open a Kiwibank Free Up everyday transaction account, you must meet the following eligibility requirements.³

  • Aged 13 and over
  • Live or be eligible to work or study in New Zealand
  • Have a New Zealand phone number
  • Have not previously opened an account with Kiwibank

If you fit within these requirements, then you can begin the process of opening a Free Up everyday account following these steps³:

  1. Visit Kiwibanks website
  2. Choose the “Accounts” option and then “everyday accounts” in the top menu bar
  3. Pick “just me” in the drop down menu for who this account is for
  4. Complete the online form
  5. Verify your identity
  6. Wait for your verification
  7. That's it!

Once you have been verified, you can access internet banking and the Kiwibank mobile app, where you can proceed to order a new Visa Debit or EFTPOS card to use with your new account.

How to open a Fast-Forward savings account with Kiwibank?

To open a Fast-Forward savings account, the procedure and eligibility requirements are the same as if opening a Free-Up everyday account. The only difference for sign up is when filling out the online banking application form, you specify that you want to open Fast-Forward savings accounts.⁴

How to open a joint account with Kiwibank?

Anyone looking to open a joint account with Kiwibank requires both applicants to visit a branch in-person or make contact to Kiwibank over the phone. Here are the steps required to open a joint account³:

By visiting a branch

  1. Make an appointment by calling Kiwibank on 0800 523 523
  2. Both applicants bring ID and proof of address to the branch of appointment
  3. Wait for verification from Kiwibank

Over the phone

  1. Call 0800 523 523 and speak with a representative to start the process
  2. If applicable, verify your address and ID with an activated RealMe online verification account
  3. If you do not have a RealMe account, both applicants will need to visit a branch with proof of address and ID
  4. Wait for verification from Kiwibank

Now that we’ve covered the steps on how to open a Kiwibank bank account, let’s check out some of the costs and running fees.

Costs, running fees that come with the account

The best way to see how the Free-up everyday transaction account compares on its cost and fees, in the table below we’ll compare this account with a similar product on the market - the Wise multi-currency account.

Fees* Kiwibank Free-Up everyday Account² Wise multi-currency account
Account monthly fees Free Free (unless you hold more than than 15,000 in a EUR balance)
International transfer fee (for a sample amount of 1000 NZD to GBP) In branch or by fax incurs a processing fee of $25 NZD

Through internet banking portal incurs a processing fee of $20 NZD

(extra fees may be deducted by intermediary banks when sending a international transfer affecting final amount beneficiary receives)⁶

A one time international transfer fee of $5.19 NZD for sending $1000 NZD in GBP

Fee breakdown = Variable Fee of $4.78 NZD calculated at 0.48% of today sample + Fixed Fee of $0.41 NZD

See the calculation here

Receiving money from abroad fee $12 NZD + other extra intermediary bank deductions may be incurred⁵ Free to receive money in EUR, GBP, AUD, NZD, RON, HUF & SGD

Free to receive USD using ACH transfers or bank debits

$7.50 NZD per USD wire transfers

Card maintenance fees Free with account

$15 NZD card replacement fee⁵

$14 NZD to order a Wise Debit Mastercard

$10 NZD for replacement card

ATM withdrawals Free

Overseas withdrawals are subject to a $6 NZD fee + a 2.5% conversion fee⁵

There is two free ATM withdrawals up to $350 NZD a month

Any withdrawals over $350 NZD will incur a 1.75% a month

It will costs $1.50 NZD per withdrawal once the two free withdrawals are used up per month

*Reference rate only - actual rate may vary. Information last checked on 10th April 2022

What do I need to open an account? Requirements, documents and what to know.

Here are some extra things you should know if you are thinking about opening a bank account with Kiwibank.

Which documents do I need to open an account?

All applicants are required to present either online or in person a proof of NZ address and a personal identification document. Verification can be done via a Smartphone, through a verified RealMe account or by bringing documents into a branch.³

Can I open this Kiwibank account from overseas online?

It is possible to open a Free-Up account from overseas online - the caveat though - you must have a valid New Zealand study or work visa or be an Australian citizen. You must also enter New Zealand within 180 days of first enquiry to activate the account.

To open from overseas online, applicants must submit a Kiwibank migrant banking application form, notarised copy of your passport, proof of home country residential address, completed overseas tax declaration and a proof of valid visa to email address

For those looking to open a joint account online from overseas, each applicant must fill out their own separate Kiwibank migrant banking application form, with one applicant providing a proof of New Zealand address.⁷

What else do I need to know?

Kiwibank offers a foriegn currency account, but can only be opened once an active Kiwibank Free-up account is activated and $500 NZD deposited. This account can be seen through the internet banking platform or the Kiwibank mobile banking app.⁸

You can find out more by contacting Kiwibank here.

You can contact Kiwibank by⁹:

  • Calling 0800 113 355 (within NZ)
  • Calling +64 4 473 1133 (overseas)
  • Visit a local branch during opening hours

Alternatives to Kiwibank

If you still aren't sure if Kiwibank is right for you, then some other alternative banks you can check out in New Zealand are the Bank of New Zealand or ASB. If you’re interested in another option that works just like a local bank in New Zealand but has some extra benefits, you should check out what Wise has to offer.

The Wise Multi-currency account

Now that we’ve covered what Kiwibank offers in some of its personal banking products, let’s quickly check out some perks that come standard when you open a Wise multi-currency account.

Like Kiwibank, you can get your very own NZD account details, but on top of these, local account details in 9 other major currencies. You can also get a debit card to spend with without any monthly fees.

This means you can send and receive money in each local currency just like a local. You will also have access to cheap conversion using the mid-market rate, with the added bonus of a one-off transparent transaction fee on each international transfer.

Check out Wise today and see how much you can save when spending, sending and receiving money abroad.

Open your Wise account in minutes


  1. Kiwibank milestone
  2. Kiwibank types of accounts
  3. Kiwibank eligibility and steps to open accounts
  4. Kiwibank Saver account online
  5. Kiwibank Fees inward overseas transfer and ATM fees p.10 & p.16
  6. Kiwibank outward overseas fees
  7. Kiwibank moving to NZ
  8. Kiwibank foriegn currency account
  9. Kiwibank contact

Sources checked on: 10 April 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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