The Bank of New Zealand was established in 1861, opening its first office in Auckland later that year. From there, a London office was opened in 1862, and further branches were established in Melbourne, Australia in 1872 and in Levuka, Fiji in 1876. Over the following decades, the Bank of New Zealand created new products and services to cater to changing customer needs.
In 1943, the bank introduced New Zealand's first mobile banking office in a caravan, in order to meet the needs of American servicemen stationed in New Zealand during World War II. In 1958, it launched The Ladies Bank, which catered exclusively to female customers, offering a welcoming environment and services useful to women – which was certainly a welcome departure from the prevalent male-dominated banking environment.
In terms of technology, the bank introduced computers to banking in 1967, a VISA debit card to current accounts in 1978, and BNZ Internet Banking to its customers in 1999. In 2006, it introduced online statements, text alerts and extra security feature 'Netguard' for internet banking, followed up two years later with a brand refresh and change of name to BNZ.
While it may be a big bank, BNZ still retains a strong focus on community, working to serve the communities in which its customers live. How does it do this? Let’s take a look at some of the bank’s community initiatives.
Providing financial support where it’s needed most, BNZ has a Community Finance initiative, which offers fee-free, low-interest, and interest-free loans to families on low incomes.
Piloting Mobile BNZ, BNZ is now bringing banking to communities that may not have access to a branch. This cashless mobile branch is travelling around the Manawatu region with a team on-board ready to provide advice on managing everyday finances, helping with BNZ online tools, opening accounts, and providing access to BNZ’s Community Finance programme.
Teaming up with The Salvation Army and other great Kiwi organisations, BNZ is piloting The Good Shop, a mobile store on the road in three communities across New Zealand. The Good Shop offers an ethical alternative to existing mobile shopping trucks, providing access to quality goods with interest-free finance options, alongside practical financial advice to those who need it.
Closing its doors for one day each year, BNZ takes part in Closed for Good, the biggest single day of corporate volunteering in New Zealand. This lets staff get out into the community to lend a hand, most recently providing kindergarten-aged children, teenagers, and seniors with financial know-how using specially designed interactive tools.
BNZ offers a wide range of financial products, including everyday bank accounts, home loans, insurance and credit cards. In terms of credit cards, these vary to suit customer needs.
With a low rate credit card, cardholders can save on interest when they carry a balance. This can help them pay down their balance faster. As a low cost option, these cards tend to offer fewer features, making them a good choice for cardholders interested in no frills options.
BNZ offers a couple of rewards cards, allowing cardholders to earn Fly Buys points or cashback on their card spending.
With a platinum card within its range, BNZ provides a higher earn rate for bigger spenders, alongside a few platinum perks.
To find out more about BNZ’s range of credit cards, click through to each card’s page to get the full rundown, including fees, features and our review.
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