Banking in Australia
Opening a bank account
Opening a bank account is more straight forward than you might think. Thanks to the high volume of migrants studying and working in Australia, most major Australian banks offer new migrant services to help you make the transition as smooth and simple as possible.
STEP 1: Choose your bank
It is worth taking some time to see what which banks suit your needs.
Some banks may have a banking system that is easier to navigate through whilst other banks might offer better services, and one might have better saving plans that may suit your needs.
Ask your colleagues, friends and family to share their views on their bank of choice and if they would recommend it and why.
Listed below are the four major banks in Australia:
STEP 2: Contact your bank
Once you have chosen your preferred bank, you can contact your bank of choice over the phone or through their website, however, you can visit a branch in person if you have questions or aren’t sure how to follow the steps online. Visiting a branch will be especially helpful if you have never been to Australia before and have some questions.
Banking hours are usually 9.30am to 4 pm Monday to Friday. Only a few banks are open on a Saturday morning.
You will need at least 2 pieces of identification evidence, which must total 100 points or more. Here’s how the points system works.
|Identity card – issued by Foreign Government||30|
|Licence – ‘other’ (international/foreign)||30|
STEP 3: Choose your account type
Your bank consultant can help you with this.
The most common everyday account that allows you to withdraw money from ATM machines is a current or a checking account. This account allows you to make direct payments and access telephone and internet banking to manage your money and will be the account your salary is paid into. Try to find a bank that does not charge any account fees on your everyday account.
You can also open a savings account to help you save money. This type of account is separate from your transaction account and will generally allow you to earn interest on your savings.
Don’t forget to download mobile banking up, so you can transfer money from one account to another, transfer money to family and friends, pay bills or manage your savings.
STEP 4: Tax File Number
You will need to order a Tax File Number (TFN) to attach to your bank accounts to avoid being charged additional fees. Having a TFN is not compulsory in order to set up a bank account, however, without one your employer will take 45.6% of your wages in tax and you will be charged the same rate on any interest accrued in your bank accounts.
You can apply for a TFN once you’ve arrived in Australia with a valid visa. Follow our instructions to apply for a TFN here