New Zealand - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing

It covers payment methods and information on, banking systems, foreign exchange controls, and U.S. and correspondent banking.

Last published date: 2022-07-31

Methods of Payment

In New Zealand, financial institutions offer secured bank credit and trade finance products e.g., irrevocable letters of credit.  Open account purchase agreements are quite common among long-term trading partners.  New Zealand banks are phasing out checks in favor of electronic payments.

For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide.

There are 27 registered banks in New Zealand providing customary retail and commercial business including depository services, lending, and foreign exchange services.  Overseas entities own more than 90% of the country’s banking assets.  Citibank New Zealand manages a commercial bank in Auckland. 

Visa and Mastercard are the leading credit cards used in New Zealand.

Banking Systems

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand oversees the banking system in this country.  Similar to the U.S. Federal Reserve, it formulates and implements monetary policy, monitors banks, manages currency issuance and acts as the central bank of New Zealand.  It grants banking licenses and operates the Exchange Settlement Account System through which banks make regular high-value payments with each other.  Additionally, the Reserve Bank provides clearing and settlement services to the financial markets for high-value debt and equities.  

Foreign Exchange Controls

There are no foreign exchange controls in New Zealand.

U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks

American Express, Mastercard and Visa are all widely available through New Zealand’s five retail banks.  Citibank New Zealand manages a commercial bank in Auckland.  Eximbank does not have a New Zealand presence.