Using Starling in New Zealand 🇳🇿


Has anyone had any experience regarding using Starling in New Zealand please.


BNZ ATMs use magstripe instead of the chip. Many banks charge a 3 withdrawal fee for use of their ATM. The contactless limit is NZ 80.00 (approx £40).



Many thanks for the prompt response and information which is greatly appreciated.

Once I get back I’ll share my experiences!


It seems things have improved in NZ.

Back in August 2017 when I was there (mainly Auckland area) my Starling debit card hardly worked in any NZ ATM, though purchases in shops were fine. For cash withdrawals I used either my MBNA Everyday Amex or Halifax Clarity card which worked fine without any issues.


Just got back a few weeks ago - no problems using Starling to withdraw cash or pay in shops. The only thing that took me a day or two to figure out was the differing terminology there - if they say EFTPOS they mean debit card and instead of contactless it’s Paywave. Additionally, on many card readers at tills it will ask you whether you wish to pay using your credit, debit or checking account - even though Starling is a debit card, if you’re using a non-Kiwi card you need to select “credit” and it’ll work fine. The “debit” option really means “New Zealand current account”.


PayWave is Visa and PayPass is MasterCard.

EFTPOS means “Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale” so presumably they use that terminology to mean it paid from your bank rather than using credit


Ah, good to know - I only ever saw it referred to as Paywave.


And yeah, I remembered EFTPOS from my computer science classes at school many moons ago :slight_smile: Interestingly, they also often specified EFTPOS if they meant debit, or “credit cards” if they meant credit, whereas in casual conversation in the UK we often conflate the two even though they’re different technologies.


You will find in North America you also need to select Credit for your Debit card.

In reality Debit means the domestic banks card network and Credit means the international card networks run by the credit card companies.


I went to New Zealand a few years ago but of course, back then (2012) used a standard bank card, and I don’t think contactless technology was available. Useful update - @MIROW fantastic knowledge as usual.


Just as we in the UK have a domestic ATM network LINK, as well as the Mastercard and Visa ATM networks, in some countries they have a similar thing for POS payments.

Just think of it like our old Switch scheme being not just a card scheme but also a POS network linking the terminals to the banks.

And just like an ATM may be connected to both the LINK network and the MasterCard network so their POS terminals connect to both their national (EFTPOS Debit) and international networks (MasterCard, Vusa, Discover, JCB, UnionPay etc). Though the LINK ATM does it automatically when it sees a LINK compatible card, with POS you press a button.

However, in some South American and African countries a similar choice comes up on some ATM and you have to select a button for Credit, Debit or Savings.


I’ve just spent 4 weeks in New Zealand mainly in Auckland but also in some remote small towns in the north of South Island.
I was primarily trialling the bank for its ease of using away from the UK in comparison with Revolut & my Halifax Clarity Card, before jumping fully to making Starling my main account.
Revolut is not a bank but otherwise compares well and the Halifax CC does not give instant notifications of transactions.
Paying for everything by my Starling Card was a breeze with instant, and I mean instant, notifications.
The one problem that I am finding now in reviewing my spending is that quite a few transactions have not been categorised at all and the App does not give me the option of choosing any plus the locations widely out, even in showing locations on different continents!!