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What does the bank of the future look like?

Banking is moving into a new high tech universe. Like many other aspects of our lives the digital revolution is about the change the way we bank. We may even use Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms for our banking with the traditional bank relegated to providing wholesale services. Here is what I think: Banks have got us by the short and curlies. Whichever way we turn there are fees, fees, and more fees. The mainly Aussie-owned banks…

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Using a credit card for everything? There are other ways to pay

Don’t believe you have to have a credit card. Paying interest sucks. It sucks the lifeblood out of your finances. That’s because unless you clear your entire bill within the interest free days, you pay interest. That interest means you’re paying as much as 22.95% more than your mates at the mainstream banks for the same things, which has a detrimental effect on your finances over time. Other (cheaper) ways to pay Thankfully there are way more credit-free ways to…

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Donkeys in a field
How your credit score affects the interest rates you pay (and welcome to the brave new world of risk-based pricing)

Watch out! Your credit score could soon affect the interest rate you pay. That’s good if you’re a “unicorn” with a credit score from 801 to 1,000, and not bad if you’re a “thoroughbred” with a score of 601 to 800. If, however, you’re a credit “donkey” at the very bottom of the credit score pile, a credit pony at 201 to 400, or a farm horse from 401 to 600 you could well pay more. Why donkeys pay more…

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Young boy posing with money drifting around him
Are your kids learning about finances the hard way or the easy way?

I remember it well. The little green booklet that I’d carry into the local branch of the savings bank, with my grandparents’ Christmas money or some such, all ready to save up for some far flung future when I’d be able to buy Something Important. The wee booklet was received by the teller like a benediction, and after passing it through a machine that typed on it (TYPED!) it was returned to me fresh, newly updated, bearing the magic words…

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Looking close at the laptop
Debt disasters you didn’t see coming

Credit is great. It means you can buy what you want right now! But before you get too excited, too many Kiwis get themselves in the doo-doo with their credit. You don’t want to be one of them. Often it’s the people banks call ‘revolvers’ who get themselves into a complete debt disaster. These are the people who only make the minimum payment each month and see their debt spin out of control. Sure you can go bankrupt or use the…

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Cyber Security
Want to keep your money safe online? Think about your underpants

Budgeting, planning and all the good credit habits in the world are no good if someone goes and nicks your hard-earned money. These days, though, the bad guys are unlikely to turn up with stockings over their heads and big sacks marked “swag”. Digital crime – money being stolen directly from your bank account – is on the up. There are two ways this can happen, and one is a lot more common than the other. “Hacking” is what most…

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Man using ATM outdoors
Does your bank reckon you should have your KiwiSaver with them, all under one roof? Read this first

I banked a cheque the other day (yes, I know! Some people are still using cheques) and as I stood there at the counter, the teller asked me if I had my KiwiSaver with the bank. “No, it’s elsewhere,” I said. “Why don’t you bring it to us?” he asked. “Because I’m with Simplicity and their fees are lower,” I said. (More on that here.) “But you should have your KiwiSaver with your everyday bank,” he argued. Now this made…

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Flipping the switch: Why it’s easier than ever to switch banks

So you’ve been sifting around on and seen some sweet deals, but you’re thinking it’s wayyyyy too hard to switch banks, right? Errr, pull up a chair and sit down for a moment. Actually, switching banks is easier than ever. Thanks to internet banking, our bank accounts capture loads of information – think about how many automatic payments or preloaded payees you have on your account (mum, dad, utilities, the local pie shop and so on) – and having…

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