Opening a bank account in Australia is considerably hassle-free unlike some countries where it can be a nightmarish experience. In fact, the whole process can be completed online even before you enter the country. However, if you decide to open your account after you enter the country, make sure it is one of the first things that you do.
A big advantage of opening an account in a foreign country is that you get a place to keep your money safe and you don’t have to pay international banking fees each time you make a withdrawal. The usual method used by travellers is to withdraw the maximum amount from their home accounts, pay the fee (which is the same irrespective of the withdrawal) and deposit the money into their Australian bank account. Now each time you need cash, you won’t have to pay international fees.
A bank account is pivotal for most jobs because pay is usually transferred into an account. Without a bank account, you cannot be paid by any employer and therefore cannot take up any job. Getting an account means that you can not only get employed but it will make life easier in Australia later on too.
The most common or popular type of account is a current or chequing account, usually known as a transaction account in Australia. These accounts come with a cheque book, ATM access, an EFTPOS (debit) card, and the facility to pay your bills by phone or online banking. Although these accounts pay very little interest but they are well equipped to fulfill your daily banking needs.
The four major banks in Australia are Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), Commonwealth, National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac. Although there are other smaller, local banks but using one of these four banks for your account means that you can find your bank countrywide.
Westpac even allows its potential foreign customers to open a bank account before entering Australia. The ‘Westpac Choice’ account as it is called allows for unlimited transactions for a monthly fee of $5 with the first six months being free. For more information or to apply online please visit the Westpac website. You will find all the required information to open a bank account all the other three important banks here: ANZ, NAB and Commonwealth.
An Australian bank account can be opened by newly arrived foreign nationals with only their passport if they do so within the first six of weeks of their entry into the country. The requirement of a mailing address can be fulfilled by hostels that often provide a letter of verification of your stay there. Sometimes banks in your home country might have partnerships with other banks abroad so it’s always useful to inquire from the bank you use if they have any partners in Australia. This will definitely make the whole process easier.
Opening an Australian bank account, registering for reciprocal healthcare and obtaining an Australian Tax File Number should be one of the first things you do when you arrive because they are vital for your comfortable stay in Australia.