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How to Send Money Overseas from a New Zealand Bank Account

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Transferring money from a New Zealand bank account to an overseas account.

Whether you are just about to leave New Zealand or you forgot to pay your dad back for your flight to New Zealand, there will come a point during your gap year in New Zealand where you will need to send money to your overseas bank account from your New Zealand bank account. To make sure you are aware of your options, as well as being informed on the advantages and disadvantages of each international payment method, we have put this guide together on how to send money to an overseas account from a New Zealand bank account.

There are a few methods for transferring money overseas from your New Zealand bank account. You can do it through your home bank in an online payment (international telegraphic transfer) or with an international bank draft. Alternatively, you can use a foreign exchange broker, like HiFX, to transfer money overseas – avoiding the large bank fees.

Alternatively, if you want to send money from an overseas account to your New Zealand account, check out How to Transfer Money to Your New Zealand Bank Account.

Details that you will need when transferring money from your New Zealand bank account to an overseas account

Before you can send a payment to your overseas bank account, there are a few details that you will need to have on hand. Because you are sending money to an overseas account, there is more information than your standard bank transfer that you will need to provide.

The Overseas receiver’s bank details
  • The name of the account holder
  • Physical address as stated on their bank account
  • Bank name
  • Branch name
  • Branch address
  • The appropriate branch identifier, i.e. IBAN (International Bank Account Number), Clearing Code or SWIFT BIC code. (More details below).
Your New Zealand Bank Account Details
  • Your New Zealand bank account number (found on your bank statement or online banking page)
  • The currency and amount you want to send. Some banks will allow you to send money in a foreign currency or a NZ$ equivalent, while other banks will only allow you to send in NZ$.

You can find most of this information on the following pages of your New Zealand bank account website: Co-Operative Bank, Westpac, BNZ, ANZ, KiwiBank and ASB.

Live Chat

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IBAN, SWIFT BIC codes and clearing codes

The trickiest piece of information to find form your overseas bank account – the account you are sending the money to – is the branch identifier. What sort of branch identifier you will need depends on which country the account is in that you are sending the money to.

To make this task of finding your branch identifier a little less painful, we have compiled a quick list of countries and what information you will need from them.

  • Australia – BSB number
  • UK – sort code
  • Europe – The IBAN number
  • US – ABA or FedWire or SWIFT code
  • Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore – SWIFT code
  • Canada – transit number or Electronic Fund Transactions (EFT) routing number. Note a full EFT is 9 numbers long including the 0 at the start.
  • India – SWIFT code
  • Other countries – most commonly, the requirement is a SWIFT code
How to find your branch identifier number

You will either have to get in contact with your overseas bank or simply search for information on your bank company’s website. You will not need your New Zealand branch identifier number unless you are sending money from overseas. More more information, check out How to Transfer Money to Your New Zealand Bank Account.

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sending money overseas via Online Transfer (Telegraphic transfer)

An international telegraphic transfer is another way of saying “transferring money online between international bank accounts”, much like how you would transfer money online between New Zealand bank accounts. However, an international telegraphic transfer requires more information (see above), including the appropriate branch identifier. Not only that, but there are significant fees involved applied by your New Zealand bank and your overseas bank. Although you don’t necessarily receive the best exchange rate by this method of sending money overseas from a New Zealand bank account, an international telegraphic transfer is often seen as the safest method.

Things to consider before using telegraphic transfer to transfer money to your overseas account:
  • Fees charged by both your home bank and NZ bank are far more significant than other international money transferring options
  • For security, your first international payment from your New Zealand bank account may need to be made at a bank branch or made in writing – make sure to check with your bank before you leave New Zealand. (In fact, we recommend that you transfer your money overseas and close your NZ bank account before leaving New Zealand. For more information, check out How to Close Your Bank Account in New Zealand).
  • Banks vary on how fast they provide this service. While some take 2-6 days, other can take up to two weeks. Some banks charge an extra fee for an express service.

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Sending money overseas Using a foreign exchange broker

Foreign exchange, otherwise known as Forex or FX, are in the business of trading currencies. For this reason, foreign exchange brokers tend to offer competitive exchange rates and fees (or in the case of HiFX, no fee for the first exchange). Payments are usually cleared within a week.

How does  using a foreign exchange broker to transfer money to from your New Zealand bank account to your overseas bank account work?

Foreign exchange brokers usually work online through their own websites. You set up an account with them, usually providing some form of identification (making sure you are actually the owner of your bank account). Once you have been approved, you either make a payment using a telegraphic transfer (online payment) or online debit/credit payment of the desired amount of money you wish to transfer to the foreign exchange brokers’ New Zealand bank account (this way you avoid the fees that come along with an international telegraphic transfer). When the foreign exchange broker receives the money, they pay that money into your overseas bank account.

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE USING A foreign exchange broker TO send money to your overseas bank account:
  • Give yourself a couple of days to open an account with a foreign exchange broker. For security reasons, you will need to send a copy of photographic ID (usually your passport or driver license), as well as proof of residential address to open an account. This should be reviewed within a couple of working days.
  • If the company that you use happens to go bankrupt while your money is in their hands, it is unlikely that you will get compensation.

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Sending money overseas using International Bank drafts

International bank drafts, or as they are more commonly known in New Zealand, foreign cheques, are like your standard written bank cheque (yes, those “cheque books still exist”) but written in your chosen currency. You will either need to go into your New Zealand bank branch to buy an international bank draft or order one online to pick up in a branch later.

The benefits of an international bank draft is that it takes the money from your home account straight away, so your draft will not “bounce” from having insufficient funds. Additionally, bank drafts can only be deposited into a bank account, rather than being cashed, making them secure. That being said, because a bank draft is a physical item, losing it would be a major inconvenience.

Things to consider before using an international bank draft to transfer money to your overseas bank account:
  • Before obtaining your draft, make sure you look at the different fees involved from both your New Zealand bank and your overseas bank. Although not often seen as expensive as an online bank transfer between your home bank and NZ bank, there are still costs involved
  • Make sure that your overseas bank actually accepts international bank drafts
  • Bank drafts can either be sent to an address or picked up at the bank by the sender
  • Bank drafts typically take a long time to process.

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