About Westpac’s award-winning everyday banking
What is the Everyday Banking Award?
No matter where we are or what we’re doing, we all conduct financial transactions every day of our lives or look at our account balances using online banking – hence the name of this award: “Everyday Banking”. A few businesses here and there still buy and sell things using good old-fashioned cash, but year by year we are becoming a cashless society, making debit cards, credit cards, and mobile banking that much more important.
Interest payments, direct debit bill payments, and automatic transfers from one account to another are transactions that happen out of sight and sometimes out of mind. Then there are the mindless manual transactions where we swipe, tap, or wave our card or our smartphone, or open our mobile banking app to see if our salary has hit the bank account yet. We deal with money every day.
It stands to reason, then, that having a great value credit card, debit card, and transaction account is vitally important – yet we can take our everyday banking needs for granted. How often do you switch your transaction account or your credit card? It’s worth checking our comparison site once a year to see whether you could be saving money by banking elsewhere.
Fortunately for you we crunch the numbers on these products every year for the Everyday Banking Award, looking at 10 New Zealand financial institutions and what they offer. We analyse their credit card, transaction accounts, their online banking and mobile banking app, as well as the availability of branches and ATMs to determine which institution most deserves CANSTAR’s Everyday Banking Award
What does Westpac offer for everyday banking?
CANSTAR congratulates Westpac on winning the 2016 Award for Bank of the Year – Everyday Banking.
CANSTAR is an information provider and in giving you product information CANSTAR is not making any suggestion or recommendation about a particular product. If you decide to apply for a product, you will deal directly with a financial institution, and not with CANSTAR. Rates and product information should be confirmed with the relevant financial institution. For more information, read our detailed disclosure, important notes and additional information.
Deposits (Transaction Accounts)
Westpac have seen a large improvement in their deposit accounts from 2015’s rating with the introduction of their Airpoints Debit MasterCard, a debit card that allows you to earn Airpoints by spending your own money. You are able to attach this debit card to one of your Westpac transaction accounts, this then decides which account fees you will pay. This sees Westpac at the top for transaction accounts in this year’s award. The fees for the Airpoints transaction account are based on Westpac’s electronic transaction account.
Source: Westpac NZ
Westpac’s top credit card within our new Low Fee profile is their hotpoints credit card, which has an annual fee of $44/year and an interest rate of 20.95% p.a.
Westpac also won the 2016 Online Banking Award, so it’s not surprising that they have topped the online banking component of our Everyday Banking Award. They surpass their competitors by miles when it comes to online banking, with their website platform Westpac One. Their mobile banking offering is equally impressive, with their mobile app closely mirroring the online functionality of Westpac One.
Westpac is a provider of bank accounts, home loans, credit cards, personal loans, KiwiSaver accounts, life insurance, home and contents insurance, car insurance, travel insurance, foreign currency, investment products, business products, and agribusiness solutions.
Westpac was founded in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales, and they established Westpac New Zealand in 1861 when they bought the New Zealand branch of the Oriental Bank. After opening their first “branches” on the gold fields of Otago, they now serve over 1.3 million customers around the country.
You’ll be pleased to know the predecessor of Westpac NZ, CBA New Zealand, was the first bank to lend money to women with their “Yes, we do lend money to women” campaign in 1974.
How do Westpac support the New Zealand community?
Westpac’s rescue choppers are famous by now, and in 2015 they reported that they have now raised $4.47 million for Rescue Helicopters since 2013.
Kiwis can now donate old sports gear at Westpac branches so kids in disadvantaged areas can get to play sport at school, through Westpac’s partnership with the iSPORT Foundation.
Source: Westpac NZ
Westpac became New Zealand’s first “dementia-friendly bank” in 2015, establishing a partnership with Alzheimers Auckland to protect vulnerable elderly customers from financial abuse.
For the everyday Kiwi, Westpac provides free financial education workshops and seminars with the Managing Your Money course, with 65,808 people learning how to budget, save, and invest better in 2015.
If you know a differently abled New Zealander worth of recognition, why not nominate them for the 2016 Attitude Awards? Thousands of Kiwis young and old live with an intellectual or physical disability or a mental health condition. These awards salute the amazing artists, sports people, and employers who show that being differently abled doesn’t stop you from doing anything you put your mind to.
Finding it hard to save enough pennies for a house deposit? You’ll be glad to know Westpac is doing something about social and affordable housing. They provided $24.5 million of funding to community housing providers in 2015. They have also created the Welcome Home Loan with Housing New Zealand to offer a low deposit home loan for First Home Buyers.
How does Westpac protect the environment?
You can see for yourself how Westpac is tracking in terms of protecting the environment, with their annual Sustainability Review Report. Some of the highlights from the 2015 report included:
- Reduced carbon emissions from base year of 2008 by 35%.
- Committed $327 million in new lending to businesses whose products and services support a low carbon economy – the CleanTech Sector.
- Credit card hotpoints rewards program includes eco-conscious rewards.
- EFTPOS cards use 100% recycled plastic.
- Introduced “All in Flex” so that all job roles are now considered flexible, and introduced a new remote working portal to enable working from home.
- Sir Peter Blake Trust runs environmental programs such as Care for our Coast, to encourage awareness and protection of our marine environments – our oceans, rivers, and lakes.
Back in 2007, Westpac were the first bank to offer Green Home Loans to help New Zealanders afford environmentally responsible products.
Source: Westpac NZ