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We Want Less Debt And Better Interest Rates

Since lockdown, Kiwis’ traditional behaviour around money is changing, writes Brenda Ward.

19 October 2021

Data from a leading financial product comparison website shows we seem to be losing interest in taking on debt and are instead hunting for safe havens for our money.

The site www.PocketWise.co.nz says Kiwis have been searching online for higher bank interest rates and better broadband.

But we’ve been losing interest in debt and credit cards.

Site co-founder Prashant Trivedy says credit cards used to be its most popular section pre-Covid, but it’s been in decline, particularly the section on credit cards that offer Air New Zealand Airpoints.

Better deposit rates

Instead, term deposit interest rates have shot to the top of the searches.

“There’s been a lot of traffic coming through Google,” says Trivedy.

“Our hypothesis from this is seeing what’s happened during Covid-19, with stock markets being very volatile, is that people might just be looking for a more stable investment option.

“I think some people may have foreseen that interest rates were on their way down, so they wanted to lock in a rate before they dropped any lower.”

One bank is doing better than its competitors, he says.

“From what we’ve seen, Heartland Bank generally has pretty competitive rates compared to the Big Four,” says Trivedy. The Big Four are major banks Westpac, ANZ, BNZ, and ASB.

We’re transferring money too

Money transfer searches are also up.

“Because of the volatility in the exchange rates, there was a period when it was probably the best time in the past few years to transfer money to Australia, so we did see a lot of comparisons of transfers from New Zealand dollars to Aussie dollars.

“A lot of our users transfer money because they have businesses, or they’re working remotely and need to transfer money across countries.

“It’s possible some users own investment properties overseas and are looking to sell and bring back money.

“There are fewer people travelling, but digital transfer is still very relevant.”

We want fast fibre

Another big trend is more searches for faster and cheaper broadband.

“Now that more people are working from home, and schooling from home, there’s a lot more interest in finding a better broadband deal and saving money,” he says.

He suggests that now people have had a taste of working from home and have seen the effects of slow broadband, there’s a lot more interest in deals around fibre.

“With more people feeling the pinch, or a slowdown in their businesses, Kiwis are realising that spending a few minutes comparing deals could save them money.”

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Informed Investor's content comes from sources that Informed Investor magazine considers accurate, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. Charts in Informed Investor are visually indicative, not exact. The content of Informed Investor is intended as general information only, and you use it at your own risk.