Bank accounts held in New Zealand are identified using a standardized format account number, which is 16 digits long and includes information about the bank and branch the account is held at, the account number, and the type of account product. The first 6 digits of this number are the bank code, also known as the NCC or National Clearing Code.
If you’re making a payment to someone in New Zealand, or expecting a payment to an account of your own held there, you may need to know the right NCC to use. This guide covers the details you need to know about NCC codes.
We’ll also take a look at TransferWise as a smart way to send and receive payments globally, saving you time, money and hassle.
What is a National Clearing Code?
Banks in New Zealand assign 16 digit account numbers to all domestic accounts held in New Zealand dollars. The first 6 digits of this account number is the NCC or National Clearing Code. This code is used to show the bank brand and branch where the account is held – much like a routing number in the US.
NCC numbers are used to guide payments, and make sure your money lands in the right account when you send a transfer. If you send a payment using the wrong NCC number, you may find the transfer is rejected, delayed or returned.
It’s worth noting that the codes used for accounts held in New Zealand which are not denominated in New Zealand dollars may follow a different numbering system – check with your own bank if you have an account in a different currency.
National Clearing Code (NCC) example
Let’s look at how the NCC appears in a regular New Zealand bank account number. This is the format you’ll find when you look for an account number to make or receive a payment in New Zealand:
In this format, the first 6 digits – AABBBB – are the NCC.
- AA represents the bank number.
- BBBB denotes the specific branch location which holds the account.
- CCCCCCC – the next 7 digits are the specific account number for the individual account.
- DDD – finally, you have a suffix which shows the type of account – checking or saving for example.
NCC numbers are assigned according to agreed number ranges. Most bank brands have their own bank code which is used as the prefix to the full account number, although some codes are shared where banks act as agents for other bank brands. The branch code will then usually fall within a given range for that specific brand.
NCC number FAQ
Here are a few of the most common questions and issues when using NCC numbers, resolved.
An IBAN is an international bank account number, which is issued for accounts held in Europe, as well as some other regions. New Zealand does not use IBAN numbers – NCC codes, along with the account number and suffix as described above – replace the requirement for an IBAN.
That means you’ll need an NCC, rather than an IBAN, if you’re sending money to an account in New Zealand.
NCC codes are publicly available and can be searched online as long as you have details of the bank name and location.
Look for an NCC code using the bank’s name and address, with this NCC finder tool.
If you have an NCC code and you’re not sure whether or not it is correct, it is well worth validating it using an NCC checker tool.
Sending a payment which has an error in the NCC may result in the transfer being rejected, delayed or returned. The recipient bank will try to verify the account number, NCC and name before processing the payment – and if these don’t match, the payment will not be completed.
If that happens to you, you may face a delay getting your money back, and you might not get a refund of the fees you’ve paid to place the transfer in the first place.
The NCC code is used when you want to send or receive a payment in New Zealand. It shows which bank branch holds the recipient’s account, to help make sure the money goes to the right place. Because the format is standardized across all banks in New Zealand, it’s simple to find the right branch and to check the NCC being used is the one you need.
In this way, NCC codes are similar to ABA routing numbers in the US, making the process of sending electronic payments easier for the banks involved.
Looking for the right NCC information because you need to make a payment to someone in New Zealand? You’re in the right place. Use the helpful checking tools linked above to make sure you have the correct NCC, and then head on over to TransferWise to see if you can save on the costs of processing your payment.
TransferWise international transfers are made using the mid-market exchange rate with no markup or margin added – so there are no sneaky hidden fees to watch out for. You just pay a low, transparent charge per transaction. Because TransferWise uses smart new technology, your payment can be processed quickly, safely, and for less.
Check out TransferWise today, and pay less for your international transfer to New Zealand.