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New Zealand Country Report

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  • Published Date: June 2019

A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in New Zealand.

Lessons from this New Zealand card payments report

What has been opening the way for international schemes?
What is driving New Zealand credit cards profitability?
The regulatory moves that are impacting the market.
How New Zealanders, with Open Banking imminent, are using payments methods.


  • New Zealand has long been one of the most advanced electronic payments markets in the world. Cash use is low, and consumers are quick to embrace new technology.
  • TheNew Zealand payment cards market is well established with strong consumer penetration and merchant acceptance.
  • Payment cards are the primary payment method in the country. New Zealand is one of the global leaders in card transactions, with over 400 transactions per adult in 2018.
  • Contactless has contributed to increased card use but has also led to increased charges for merchants.
  • Merchants must pay merchant service charges for contactless transactions but not for chip or magnetic stripe transactions with debit cards.
  • Retail banking, consumer finance and payments in New Zealand are largely controlled by four Australian-owned banks: Westpac, Auckland Savings Bank (ASB), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and Bank of New Zealand (BNZ).
  • State-owned Kiwibank has increased its market share in recent years by leveraging New Zealand Post's extensive distribution network and running marketing campaigns that highlight its domestic ownership structure.
  • Competition in theNew Zealand payments market is set to intensify with the launch of Open Banking, which allows non-banks live access to bank systems in order to provide tailored payment services to consumers.
  • New Zealand is one of the most profitable credit cards markets in the world. Credit quality is high, while fees and charges are not heavily regulated.
  • Issuers tend to take a segmented approach to credit cards: rewards cards, no-frills cards and balance transfers are key competitive products.

New Zealand Payments Research | Report Contents

Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Cards market
Mobile payments
Profit pool
The networks
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Online acquiring
Regulatory and other cards market information

Appendices: Data

Appendix I: Demographics and the economy

  • Demographic and economic indicators
  • Ownership of key consumer devices
  • Internet usage by population

Appendix II: Payments environment

  • Access points
  • Account penetration
  • Consumer payment trends
  • B2C e-commerce payment methods

Appendix III: Cards market

  • Total cards payment metrics
  • Contactless cards metrics
  • Credit card numbers
  • Total credit cards metrics
  • Credit cards profitability indicators
  • Debit cards numbers
  • Debit cards metrics
  • Appendix IV: Mobile payments
  • Mobile proximity payment metrics
  • Mobile P2P payments

Appendix V: Profit pool

  • Profit pool

Appendix VI: The networks

  • Networks' credit card market shares
  • Networks' credit card numbers
  • Networks' credit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of credit card transactions
  • Networks' average credit card transaction value
  • Credit card interchange fees by network
  • Networks' debit card market shares
  • Networks' debit card numbers
  • Networks' debit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of debit card transactions
  • Networks' average debit card transaction value
  • Debit card interchange fees by network

Appendix VII: Retail banks and issuers

  • Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers
  • Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings
  • Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers

Appendix VIII: Acquiring and processing

  • Merchant acquirer credit card market share
  • Credit card merchant service charges
  • Merchant acquirer debit card market share
  • Debit card merchant service charges
  • Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
  • Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
  • Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers
  • Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions

Appendix IX: Online acquiring

  • Online merchant acquirer market share

New Zealand Country Report | Selected Extracts

Demographics and Economy
According to World Bank reports, New Zealand has one of the least regulated market-based economies in the world. It ranks first in the list of easiest countries to start a business and second in the list of easiest countries in which to do business.

Payments Environment
The two main forms of electronic payment in New Zealand are card payments, mainly for the purchase of goods and services, and bank transfers used for salary transfers, bill payments and automatic payments.

Cards Market
New Zealand's payment cards market enjoys both strong consumer penetration and merchant acceptance. The average adult made 419 card transactions in 2018, making New Zealand one of a select few countries worldwide where the average person uses a card more than once per day.

Mobile Payments
Smartphone development has spurred the rapid evolution of increasingly sophisticated mobile payment technology in recent years. Global technology heavyweights such as Google and Apple are starting to make their presence felt in this market with digital wallet offerings.

Profit Pool
New Zealand has a robust and established credit cards market, which compares positively with its global counterparts. Verisk Financial Research profit pool analysis reveals steady profitability over the period covered.

Card Networks
Visa is the leader in this credit cards market, both in terms of the number of cards in circulation and billed volume, followed by Mastercard (a distant second), and American Express. The debit cards market remains dominated by the domestic debit scheme: EFTPOS.

Key Retail Banks and Issuers
Banking is dominated by domestic institutions controlled by Australian Banks: ANZ, BNZ (owned by NAB), Westpac and ASB (owned by CBA). The largest domestically owned retail banks are Kiwibank and Co-operative Bank.

Acquiring and Processing
Almost half of the adult population made purchases online in 2018, with travel being the most popular choice. Platforms tend to be the sales method of choice.

Online Acquiring
New Zealand is a developed e-commerce market. Almost half of the adult population made purchases online in 2018, with travel being the most popular choice. Platforms tend to be the sales method of choice.

Regulatory and Markets Information
Despite pressure from retailers to regulate interchange, the government has taken a softer approach, putting the onus on the industry to self-regulate or face real regulation.

New Zealand Payments Trends | Entities Referenced

Air New Zealand
American Express
Android Pay
Apple Pay
Application Programming Interface
Auckland Savings Bank
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
Bank of New Zealand
Burger King
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Consumer Electronic Clearing System
Co-operative Bank
Credit Union Central
Diners Club
Electronic Transaction Services
Financial Markets Authority
First Credit Union
FlexiGroup New Zealand
Fly Buy
Gem Finance
GFG Group
ISO 20022
Latitude Financial
Nelson Building Society
New Zealand Post
New Zealand Wine Society
Open Banking
Open Payments Enabled Network
Payments Direction
Payments NZ
Poli Pay
Reserve Bank of New Zealand
Retail NZ
Samsung Pay
SBS Bank
Settlement Before Interchange system
The Warehouse Group
Trade Me
True Rewards
Wellington regional government
Westpac Merchant Services
World Bank


Verisk financial reports include detailed market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring, retail banking, and consumer credit in the Asia Pacific region. Analysts use primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and finance experts.

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