New Zealand does not have any real-time payments system in place, and no such system has yet been announced. To help fill this gap, in October 2021, the Dosh digital wallet was launched in the country, which allows users to make instant fund transfers and payments to merchants using mobile phone numbers or by scanning QR codes.
The solution is supported by major New Zealand banks including BNZ, ASB, Westpac, ANZ and Kiwibank. The country’s payments space is dominated by electronic payments, which occupy 59% of the total payments transaction volume in 2021.
Real-Time Payment Types
Year of Real-Time
COVID-driven adoption of digital payments in New Zealand served to underscore known gaps in its payment experiences that the industry is keen to close. In response, Payments New Zealand, the standards body set up by the main banks, is coordinating the exploration of infrastructure options for the market’s first real-time payments scheme.
Pressure was building pre-pandemic in any case, with younger, digitally native customers running out of patience with payment experiences that fell far short of those found in other digital services. As a westernized economy, there was growing realization that New Zealand couldn’t afford to be left behind as other countries accelerated real-time payments adoption.
However, with a population of just over five million people, New Zealand can’t invest the same kind of money that other countries have when standing up real-time infrastructure. The market will instead need to draw on its reputation for inventive problem solving and the historically high levels of industry cooperation which, much like the Netherlands, define aspects of New Zealand’s banking culture. There’s a clear understanding about what’s competitive and what isn’t. The banks worked together to create a centralized Eftpos network in the late 80s, and we expect to see a similar approach in real-time payments.
Now, some banks are asking whether APIs could be used to connect banks in a point-to-point real-time payments system. This would avoid the need for an expensive central infrastructure that the banks all connect to. It would be a highly unusual approach, but with the industry’s history of cooperation, it could be an effective solution that works within the constraint of limited resources.
With limited progress since last year, but an improved outlook on future developments, the recommendation remains for financial institutions to begin strategizing and testing around what real-time services might look like for them. By moving first and making a fast start, they will maximize their chances of claiming the largest share of the market for the longer term.
Mobile Wallet Trends
% of adults who have a mobile wallet and have
used it in the past year (2021)
Population Banking Level
Number of debit, credit and
charge cards per adult
Index to global average
Payments Fraud Rate
Population who reported being a
victim of fraud in the last 4 years
Top 3 Payment Fraud Types
|% of fraud victims||Trend|
Card details stolen online
Card details stoken/skimmed in person
Share of Volumes by Payments Instrument
- Paper-based payments
- Electronic payments
Choose a Country
The Need for Speed to Market in Consumer Payments - Payments modernization as a response to customer demand
Fraud Management Insights
Expanding the Horizons of Fraud Detection - The Network Intelligence Approach to Machine Learning