The bank HSBC believes China is moving swiftly towards establishing its currency as a mechanism for world trade.
New Zealand importers and exporters use the US dollar for buying and selling international goods and services.
But HSBC says Beijing is upgrading its payments systems to make it easier to pay Chinese currency, the Renminbi, across borders.
As a result, it says more trade partners will begin to demand payment in that currency rather than US dollars as the year progresses.
The bank says China is forging ahead with plans to fully internationalise the Renminbi, which is already the third most favoured international currency in Asia.
It says New Zealand importers and exporters will have to gear up to deal with this.