Got questions? We have answers.

How can I join Aera?

You can register now using the “Get Access” button on the website. This will lead you through a series of questions that will help us understand you better, and then link you to download the app from your mobile phone’s App Store.

How can I sign up for the Ownership Accelerator?

The first step is to express your interest by filling in the registr form. We will be steadily inviting members to onboard in the coming months b join the Deposit Accelerator to build eposit and savings history. When the Ownership Accelerator becomes available later in the year, members who have been actively saving with Aera will be eligible to apply.

What is the Aera members app?

Our members-only mobile app is home to the Aera Deposit Accelerator, the high-interest savings offerings to help you build your first home deposit faster. It’s also where you can view your account details and transaction history, and where you can send and receive money, pay bills and apply for and manage your Aera Visa membership card.

How does the Ownership Accelerator work?

It's just 3 simple steps:

  • We help you get deposit ready. Aera's Deposit Accelerator is designed to help you shorten your deposit timeline. You can hearn high returns while building a savings history with Aera.
  • Move in, and make yourself at home. When you’ve saved up 2.5% or more, apply for the Ownership Accelerator. If accepted, we invest the rest alongside you getting you to 20%. We’ll assist you to secure a mortgage and help you find a house. You get to make it a home.
  • Your ownership partner. No more renting, your money now goes towards paying down your mortgage. We share a portion of your upside as you buy back Aera’s share over time.
How can I join Aera?

Right now we are accepting registrations for Early Access. You can express your interest by filling in the Pre-register formand we will be in touch soon. We will be inviting members who have strong incomes and are already actively saving, to join and build their first home deposit using the Deposit Accelerator.

What is the Aera members app?

Our members-only mobile app is home to the Aera Deposit Accelerator high-interest savings offerings to help you build your first home deposit faster. It’s also where you can view your account details and transaction history, and where you can send and receive money, pay bills and apply for and manage your Aera Visa membership card.

How can Aera get such high returns?

Through our savings products, Aera lets members add funds into assets that provide different returns than leaving their money in a normal bank savings accounts. Things like government or bank bonds, managed funds and wholesale cash accounts can provide higher returns than you may get just through a retail bank savings account.

Is Aera a bank?

Aera is not a registered bank. We are a financial services company that exists to help members get into their own homes, faster. We use similar tools as banks and wealth management firms, but we’re on a mission to pass on as much of the returns as possible to everyday Kiwis like you.

How can I trust Aera?

Aera is a New Zealand registered financial services provider (FSP1003388 and FSP1003389 on the NZ Financial Services Provider Register), built by Kiwis for Kiwis. We are members of the Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL# 6905) for disputes as well as being subject to New Zealand regulations.

Do you hold any financial licences?

Aera does not currently offer any regulated financial products where a licence would be required. We are however regulated in accordance with NZ laws, and are a registered financial services provider in NZ (FSP1003388 and FSP1003389 on the NZ Financial Services Provider Register) under the New Zealand Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008.

From a legal and regulatory perspective, how does the Deposit Accelerator work?

Aera’s Deposit Accelerator allows our members to take advantage of the scale that Aera provides to purchase underlying assets that may otherwise be difficult or time-consuming for members to access by themselves.

Whenever you transfer funds into Aera, your funds are held on your behalf, on trust in a New Zealand bank account. When you place funds in the Deposit Accelerator, you are instructing us to purchase certain underlying assets that form the basis of that specific product.

The basket of underlying assets will not change from the moment you purchase them. Each product’s Underlying Assets are fully disclosed to you at the time of opening the account, or available to view when transferring funds into the Accelerator. Examples of Underlying Assets may be bonds, managed funds, wholesale cash accounts and more over time.

Underlying assets are held in the name of Aera 22 Nominee Limited on your behalf. Aera takes instruction from you to buy or sell underlying assets, but has no ability to change, buy or sell underlying assets without instruction. That means that when your funds are in the Deposit Accelerator you have full control over what happens.

Aera will never use your money or other assets for any reason that is not expressly agreed to by you.

How do I open a Deposit Accelerator savings account?

Once you have verified your account, you will see an option to open various Deposit Accelerators and new accounts from the top navigation menu in the app. From here simply select the Savings account type you wish to open, review the Terms, give it a name (and emojis are fine🏡 🙌🏻) and colour style and you’re good to go.

To start saving you need to transfer money from your Everyday account into your new savings account when you’re prompted. Or you can navigate to the Move Money menu to make a transfer between your accounts at any time.

Where are my funds held?

When you load funds into your Aera accounts or Deposit Accelerators they are held on trust for you by Aera 22 Nominee Limited (the “Trustee”). “On trust” means that the funds are separate from Aera and can only be used as directed by you. The funds are held in major New Zealand bank accounts and financial institutions depending on the Accelerator options you select.

When I put funds into bonds, do I own these bonds?

When you add funds to a Deposit Accelerator that has bonds as the underlying asset, you have beneficial ownership of the bonds that you have bought. This means that, although the bonds may be held in the name of a nominee (such as Aera 22 Nominee Limited) the nominee is purely acustodian, or trustee to protect your interests.

You continue to have full control and the ability to sell your interest in the bonds at any time. This model is the same as most wealth managers or financial services providers who hold assets on behalf of others, providing access to financial markets or lowering processing costs for members.

Do you use my funds to invest in houses for Ownership Accelerator?

Aera does not use your Deposit Accelerator funds to invest in anything other than what you direct us to The underlying assets available in the Deposit Accelerator are third-party savings products that are available in the market.

Deposit Accelerator makes saving for your home deposit much easier, packaging up harder to access savings products often reserved for wealthy investors with $1m minimum balances (such as wholesale products, cash accounts, bonds or managed funds) into a much more accessible way to save.

What happens to my money if Aera goes under?

All money deposited with Aera is held on trust by Aera 22 Nominee Limited, a company that is separate to Aera’s trading company.

This means that your funds are safe and protected within your own bare trust arrangement between you and Aera 22 Nominee Limited. At all times throughout your relationship with Aera’s Deposit Accelerator, your funds are yours, never ours.

Any closure of Aera’s trading company does not impact the assets held on trust.

What is a 'bare trust nominee'?

A bare trust is a trust arrangement between you and our trustee company, Aera 22 Nominee Limited (the “Trustee”). What this means is that the Trustee holds funds on behalf of you and can only act when you provide instructions, such as choosing to open a Deposit Accelerator account with particular features or underlying assets, or purchasing milk at your local dairy using your Aera member’s Visa Card.

As the funds are on trust for you, your money is always yours, held under your name and is never intermingled with Aera’s own funds.

What is a 'Target Rate'?

The Target Rate is a variable rate of return that Aera indicates for the various accelerator options. The rate is variable, or ‘floating’ and may go up or down. We present this as an annualised rate (per annum) for easier comparison but we calculate and pay returns daily. The rate will show the return from the Underlying Assets, less a fee.

Does the Target Rate change?

It can do. It is always shown as today’s rate and is reviewed and may change to reflect the return of any underlying assets of the savings product. The rate applicable for the day will be visible on the relevant account when clicking on it from the home screen of the mobile app or on the relevant page on the Aera website.

When is the interest earned or deposited into my account?

On Deposit Accelerator accounts (not your Everyday account) interest is calculated using the Targeted Daily Rate each day. Any returns are reflected in your account the next day.

Why does only the interest accrue after I've closed an account?

When you close a savings product the principal amount is transferred to a holding account for the notice period. Although the principal amount is transferred, the relevant return will still accrue in the savings account until the notice period is complete. Then both the principal and the return will transfer to your Everyday account.

When can I withdraw my funds?

You may withdraw funds from your accounts at any time. From your Everyday account to a third party bank account there may be a delay of 2-3 days until your funds are showing.

Withdrawing from a Deposit Accelerator account to your Everyday account, funds will be subject to the notice period before they are available for use. For example, if the notice period is 30 days, your funds will be released to your Everyday account, after 30 days. From there you can withdraw it to your bank account, leave it in your Everyday account or open up a new Deposit Accelerator account.

How do I withdraw money from my Deposit Accelerator accounts?

You can transfer money instantly from your Deposit Accelerator accounts via the Move Money menu to your Everyday Account. From there, if you wish to withdraw it completely to your own bank account you can then do this from your Everyday Account via Bank Payments.

What does “notice period” mean?

Notice Days means the number of business days that it takes for us to process your withdrawal from your Deposit Accelerator accounts back into your Everyday account.

On longer terms, this reflects the length of the savings investment and any lock-up periods the underlying assets have.

On shorter terms, it also reflects the time required to move the money from the high-interest trust accounts where your funds are held, into your Everyday Account available to you.

I closed an account and my balance went to zero - where has it gone?

When you close a savings product the principal amount is transferred to a holding account for the notice period. When the notice period is complete the principal and any accrued returns will show in your Everyday account.

Why do I need a tax rate in the App?

Because you are earning interest, we are required to withhold tax on your behalf. To ensure we do this using the correct tax rate, you need to select the appropriate tax rate that applies to you.

How do I update my tax rate in the App?

Once you login to your App, go to My Profile → Tax Settings and you can update your RWT (Resident Withholding Tax) rate by selecting an option in the drop-down list.

What is RWT and what is my tax rate?

A Resident Withholding Tax (RWT) is a tax that is deducted from the interest that you, as a New Zealand resident, earn from Aera. It includes interest you earn on any Aera accounts you hold, including your Everyday and Deposit Accelerator accounts. The RWT rate is based on your taxable income.

Resident withholding tax (RWT) rates

Your resident withholding tax (RWT) rate is based on your taxable income, and there are different rates for individuals, trusts, companies and partnerships. You can find the current RWT rates on the
Inland Revenue (IRD) website.

You should provide us with or change your RWT rate that’s appropriate to your level of taxable income. Selecting a rate that is too low may mean you have an end of year tax liability.

You should also provide us with your IRD number. If you do not provide us with your IRD number, we are required to deduct RWT at the non-declaration rate of 45%.

Providing Aera your resident withholding tax (RWT) rate and IRD number

You should provide us with your resident withholding tax (RWT) rate and your IRD number when you open an account with us via your Aera member’s app My Profile → Tax Settings. Or you can contact us via our live Help Chat in the App or email support@aera.nz.

You should also let us know when your RWT rate changes. Selecting a low RWT rate may mean you have an end of year tax liability and if you don’t provide us with your IRD number, we are required to deduct RWT at the non-declaration rate of 45%.

Note: The information on this page relating to tax rates is general in nature and does not constitute tax advice to any person. We recommend you obtain independent tax advice for your own circumstances.

Will I get an end of year tax-statement from Aera?

Aera will provide you with a tax summary at the end of the year that you can use to tally up your income and calculate your tax position. We deduct the relevant tax on your behalf, based on the tax information you provide to us.  

Who can I speak to if I am unhappy?

We welcome feedback directly to support@aera.nz and will do our absolute best for our members to satisfy any complaints. In the event that we are unable to satisfy a complaint to your satisfaction, we are members of the Financial Services Complaints Limited scheme (FSCL# 6905) who can be contacted on:
Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL)
Level 4, 101 Lambton Quay, Wellington 6011

Are you investing in the home alongside me?

In a way yes, but we will not be on the title. Our investment will be secured by a caveat or similar legal protection on the property.

Do I have to pay interest on the portion Aera invests?

No. Interest rates are already high enough and a significant burden. Aera makes its return on the long term capital appreciation of the house price.

Who will fund the 80% mortgage?

Aera has partnered with a selection of major lenders who want to help us get you into your first home.

What other fees are there?

There is a settlement fee of 0.5% of the house price. If your portion of the deposit is less than half (ie, you have a deposit saved of less than 10%), your fee may increase slightly depending on your deposit level.  

*New Feature* Direct Bank Deposits 🏦

Some members have asked us to receive direct bank deposits from other banks, so that they can set up recurring, automatic payments to take advantage of our Deposit Accelerators more easily. When making a payment, please use the following details:

Account Name: Aera 22 Nominee Limited

Bank Account Number: 02-1257-0072653-001

Reference: Be sure to insert your cellphone number that matches the one used for your Aera account, so we can cross reference your deposit to your account. This must be in the format 642XXXXXX (no leading zero).

Remember: Aera employees will not ask you to pay any money into any other account, please always be vigilant. Our correct account number will be published here.

We will process deposits periodically but you can expect that they will show in your main wallet within 24 hours, or sooner.

What is the Aera members app?

Our members-only mobile app is home to the Aera  Deposit Accelerator high-interest savings offerings to help you build your first home deposit faster. It’s also where you can view your account details and transaction history, and where you can send and receive money, pay bills and apply for and manage your Aera Visa membership card.

Why do I need to verify my account before I can do anything?

As a financial services technology platform, we are required to verify your identity for many reasons such as anti-money laundering, fraud prevention and ensuring that you are who you say you are. Verifying your identity helps us to confirm your identity as required by New Zealand's Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) laws, and to protect you and us.

Online identity verification tools enable financial technology platforms like Aera to perform non-face-to-face verification. Instead of visiting a local bank branch like in the old days, taking an hour to open a bank account and handing your passport and latest utility bill over to the teller to make photocopies; online identity verification tools make that process possible online in two minutes.

Although we are not a bank, you can read more at the New Zealand Bankers Association website about Anti-Money Laundering and why identity verification is so important.
See the Financial Markets Authority explanation in regards to its importance.

How do I verify my account?

Our virtual identity verification process is done by our trusted third-party AplyID and once completed gives you full access to our services allowing you to apply for an Aera Visa members card and open Deposit Accelerator accounts. It will take about 2 minutes to complete and is done using your government issued ID (e.g. passport or driver's licence). You’ll take a quick selfie video and answer some security questions to identify that it is really you.

As we are a fully digital service, you must do this via AplyID in the app. Unfortunately, we can’t do this in person. AplyID will automatically delete any personal information you provide no later than 14 days after you provide it. AplyID is trusted and used by many major New Zealand banks such as TSB Bank, investment funds like Fisher Funds and finance companies including UDC and MTF.
You can read AplyID's privacy policy here

What is AplyID?

AplyID is a biometric verification service which authenticates your identity online. In other words, it is a platform which allows us to fully onboard you as a customer without meeting you face-to-face but confirms you are really you. An important part of our compliance includes an identification process and AplyID allows us to complete this all within your App.

Can I make bill payments?

Yes. You need to set up who you want to pay as a Favourite first. Then head to the Bank Payments menu to enter the details including the account name, amount and any reference notes you would like to send along with the payment. Please note, we are unable to refund any money sent to the incorrect recipient so please double check all the details before confirming.

How do I transfer funds into my Aera account within the App?

Aera offers a few options for transferring money into your Aera wallet - direct bank deposits from another bank account or integrated deposits within the app using Akahu or Poli.

Both in-app options require funds to come directly from a New Zealand registered bank account and are used by major New Zealand organisations who trust the encrypted, secure technology.

They work by asking you to authenticate your bank account information and approve the connection to Aera in order to transfer funds into your Aera account.

Akahu provides a simple and seamless way to connect your bank accounts to trusted third parties and gives you control of your data. Akahu is backed by Westpac New Zealand and used by a range of leading New Zealand organisations from KiwiSaver Simplicity to the budgeting tool Pocketsmith. To set up the Akahu connection for the first time head to Settings → Account permissions → My linked bank accounts. From there, follow the steps to authorise your bank to link to your Aera wallet and send funds from selected accounts. If you already use Akahu, you might want to use the same email account you have used in the past as your associated bank accounts will be pre-populated.

Poli is a leading NZ trusted direct online payment option that allows you to easily transfer funds using your online banking account. Major organisations like Air New Zealand, NZTA, Spark and MightyApe all use Poli.

Note: Once Akahu is set up with a linked account at Aera, you can easily re-use it without having to set it up again, whereas every time you use Poli, you will be required to provide your bank details again.

What is Akahu?

Akahu is New Zealand's open finance platform. Akahu makes it simple to connect your financial accounts to trusted third parties. We use it to help you move money back and forth from your bank accounts like at ANZ or Westpac, into and out of your Aera account.

If you choose to connect your accounts to Aera via Akahu, you can manage those connections at my.akahu.nz. Find out more about Akahu here. You may have already used Akahu before, so be sure to use the same email address as Akahu only let you associate all your bank accounts to one email address.

Does Akahu keep my data?

The difference between Akahu and other data providers is that, where possible, they access your banking data via the same access mechanisms / APIs as the bank's own mobile apps. So when you're adding a connection via Akahu, it's the same thing as if you're registering a new device for your bank's mobile app.

The great thing about this, in addition to speed and reliability, is that though they ask for your username and password, Akahu won't store those credentials whenever possible. Instead, Akahu just passes these over to your bank right away for the first verification step, and then after the subsequent connection process, they receive an access token that they use to fetch ongoing data.

However, depending on the provider, this might not be possible—in these cases, Akahu will store your credentials encrypted to keep them safe. In either case, your credentials never touch Aera's network.

You can also revoke the token that is given to Akahu at any time.

How do I withdraw funds back to my bank accounts?

At any time you can withdraw your funds from your Aera wallet via the Bank Payments menu. You'll just need to first set up your account as a Favourite and you can make the payment.

How do I reset my App PIN?

Go to Settings → Security → Change App PIN. Here you need to enter your existing PIN and then choose a new one which is not easy to guess, sequential or one you have used in the past.

How do I manage my notifications?

Go to Settings → More → Notification Preference to toggle Push (In-App), Email notifications and SMS (Text) to the on or off position. If the toggle is on the right and coloured in navy blue you will receive the notifications, if it is to the right and greyed out you will not.

Where can I use my Aera card?

You can use your Aera card anywhere you normally use a debit or credit card both online and offline in places such as supermarkets, retail stores and petrol stations. You can use Paywave or enter your PIN at the point of sale. If you use your PIN at point of sale you must select “Credit” as the account option.

Can I login from another device?

Yes! You will need to download the App from the Apple Store or Google Play store and login using your phone number and PIN.

Can I use a biometric login?

Yes, you can switch the biometric login option on or off from Settings → Security → Biometric login using the toggle.

Can I use the App without wifi?

You are not able to use the App without an internet connection. The App requires this for you to access, view and update transactions.

How do I export transactions from my App?

You can export transactions by month either as a PDF or CSV file. Simply head to your Account → Transaction History → Export to select the month and format you’d like to download your report in.

How many accounts can I open in the App?

You may open up to 10 accounts in your App at any one time, but if you need more than this please contact our team to find out the best solution to meet your account requirements.

How do I close an Account in the App?

You can close any of your savings accounts from within your App by simply selecting the Account → Close Account. You will need to move any existing funds into your main Everyday account before closing the account and this will have a Notice period associated to it.

You can still view the account in your App showing a small padlock during the Notice period, but once the Notice period has passed, the funds will be deposited into your Everyday Account (including any accrued interest, less tax) and the Savings account will no longer be visible in your App.

Can I use my App overseas?

Yes you sure can. Please note that all transactions and notice periods will be calculated based on New Zealand standard time.

How do I search for a Transaction in my App?

Absolutely. You can search for any recent transaction from your Account → Transaction History → Search by entering the text you wish to search for. Transactions older than 3 months will not be visible in your App, so you can ask us using the in-App chat (Home → Help is here) or email support@aera.nz for anything outside of those dates.

Can I pay an international bank account via bill payments?

No, unfortunately we can’t process international payments at this time.

What if I forget my Security Questions?

Don’t panic. Please email support@aera.nz for help.

Do you offer a secure chat in the App?

Yes we sure do. Our team is available for live chat Monday to Friday 9am-5pm (New Zealand Time) from your App from Home → Help is here. Our responses can only be viewed while you are logged into the App for security purposes.

Can I pay my tax to the IRD through the App?

No, unfortunately we don’t facilitate tax payments through the app at this time.

Can I delete my Aera Account?

You may close your Aera account by getting in touch with us at support@aera.nz. We recommend that all money is withdrawn off the platform prior to giving us notice.

How can I join Aera?

Right now we are accepting registrations for Early Access. You can express your interest by filling in the Pre-register form, and we will be in touch soon. We will be inviting members who have strong incomes and are already actively saving, to join and build their first home deposit using the Deposit Accelerator.

How do I order my member's Visa card?

Once you have verified your account, you will have the option to order a physical members Visa card from your app home page. A virtual one is issued instantly which can be used online, but the physical one will arrive in the post within 7 working days. If it doesn’t, please contact support ASAP.

Where can I use my Aera card?

You can use your Aera card anywhere you normally use a debit or credit card both online and offline in places such as supermarkets, retail stores and petrol stations. You can use Paywave or enter your PIN at the point of sale. If you use your PIN at point of sale you must select “Credit” as the account option.

Can I change the Pin on my Aera card?

Yes. Head to the Manage my cards menu via your Everyday account. From there you can choose to Reset PIN.

Can I lock my Aera card?

Yes, by opening your Everyday Account menu you can select Manage my cards and select the Lock Card button shown with a padlock. You will see a warning pop-up box display explaining that by locking the card you will be unable to make any online or in-person payments. Select Lock this card and enter your PIN to confirm and proceed. We ask that you contact support@aera.nz straight away if your card has been lost or stolen.

How do I unlock my Aera card?

From your Everyday Account menu, select Manage my cards and select the Unlock Card button shown with a padlock. Enter your PIN to confirm and you will then be able to use your card immediately. We ask that you contact support@aera.nz to update us if you had previously misplaced your card.

Register to be the first to learn more and be invited for Aera membership.

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