Innovation Excellence Awards 2024

Innovation Excellence Awards 2024

Canstar’s Innovation Excellence Awards recognise the stand-out innovative financial products to launch in the New Zealand market in the past 12 months. Using our unique rating methodology, we assess and evaluate each submission on its degree of innovation and ability to improve customer experience as a result.

Released April 2024

2024 Innovation Excellence Award Winners


  • Digital International Payments


Initio Insurance

About the 2024 Innovation Excellence Awards

For Canstar’s Innovation Excellence Awards, New Zealand financial institutions were invited to submit their innovative products or services that were brought to market within the last year.

All submissions and nominations for the 2024 Innovation Excellence Awards were judged and assessed by Canstar’s expert Research Committee up against our sophisticated and unique ratings methodology.

Products and services assessed were measured and calculated against two factors:

Degree of innovation: 

  • How different and unique is the product?
  • How disruptive is the innovation within the current market?
  • The ‘WOW’ factor to impress the judges.


  • How many customers could benefit?
  • What’s the affordability of the product and ease of use?
  • How will it improve and affect a consumer’s daily life?

All these factors were scored on a rating from one to five, and then weighted to produce a final score. The degree of innovation is weighted at 40% and a product’s impact is weighted at 60%.

You can learn more about the evaluation and calculation details in the methodology.

About the Innovation Excellence Award Winners

(Winners are listed alphabetically)


KiwiSaver Digital Advice & Projections Tool

ASB has combined KiwiSaver fund advice with their interactive value projection calculator to empower customers to make informed decisions about their future finances, and to help them realise the tangible benefits of tailored financial advice.

Judges’ comments

Recognising that a significant portion of Kiwis are unsure about their retirement readiness, and that many have not accessed professional financial advice, ASB has integrated the provision of digital advice into their KiwiSaver projections tool to make financial advice more accessible and tailored to individual needs.

Approximately 82% of Kiwis have never received financial advice, despite its proven benefits, which include higher returns and significantly larger KiwiSaver balances. The judges recognised that ASB’s proactive and unique approach to providing financial advice is helping to change the status quo by enhancing user engagement and making advice more accessible to a broader audience at no extra cost.

For more on ASB's win click here


Digital International Payments

BNZ’s fee-free Digital International Payments product streamlines the process of sending money abroad for personal and business purposes. The product is accessible in both mobile and online banking and allows over 30 currencies to be sent to more than 200 countries/states with funds typically delivered within hours.

Judges’ comments

BNZ is the first bank in New Zealand to eliminate personal international payment fees and overseas bank charges for transactions made online. BNZ’s Digital International Payments addresses key pain points around cost, complexity and speed and has set a new standard that could compel competitors to rethink their pricing and service models.

As nearly a quarter of New Zealand’s population were born overseas, BNZ’s Digital International Payments scored highly in breadth and depth. Because the BNZ is one of the country’s Big Four banks, the judges recognised the positive impact the service could have on the large number of Kiwis who bank with BNZ and regularly send money abroad.



Savvy combines an investment account with a Mastercard debit card. Savvy offers competitive returns and cost-effectiveness, and is the first investment account linked to a payment card in New Zealand. Savvy offers an array of savings features, including:

  • Boost: rounds up transactions to the nearest 50c, $1 or $5 saving the difference
  • Salary Split: Savvy learns when users get paid and lets them allocate and save portions of their income automatically
  • Sweep puts money left after a pay cycle into a designated savings pot

Judges’ comments

In a first of its kind in New Zealand, Savvy combines an investment account with a Mastercard debit card. Savvy is more of a managed fund than a traditional bank account and aims to offer competitive returns, with a focus on cash deposits, NZ government securities and bank securities. Savvy is designed to be cost-effective, with no account, card or domestic transaction fees, making it attractive for budget-conscious individuals.

Savvy offers competitive returns on every dollar in the account, has an array of automated saving and budgeting tools, and ultimately seeks to change how users manage, save and spend their money. Canstar’s judges found Savvy to be particularly unique, and possessing considerably wow factor due to its outside-the-box approach to money management.

For more on Booster Savvy's win click here

Initio Insurance

Online Insurance Experience

Initio offers a groundbreaking digital insurance experience, boasting real-time quotes, instant coverage and streamlined claims processing, all driven by cutting-edge technology. Customers can quote insurance for their property in a single click, organise cover in less than two minutes and make claims in an instant.

Initio’s Smart Claims provides customers real-time education, updates and results for our customers submitting a claim via the Initio customer dashboard. ‘Locatio’ is Initio’s internal risk mapping application, which assesses property risks with high precision, taking into account factors such as flooding and earthquakes.

Judges’ comments

Initio is the first insurer in New Zealand that allows customers to arrange quotes and cover and file claims quickly and easily through a digital portal. The service enables homeowners to manage their insurance needs with ease, leveraging technology to assess risks quickly and accurately.

Initio’s offering includes comprehensive home and contents insurance, landlord cover, holiday home insurance, and policies tailored for house flippers. Their platform streamlines the claims process, offering 24/7 lodging of claims via an online dashboard and instant payment for non-complex claims.

The judges were most impressed by the ease and efficiency of receiving a quote with Initio, and there was consensus around the judging table that this could be disruptive as other insurers look to adopt a similar approach.

For more on Initio's win click here