The banking system in Australia is fairly straightforward. Australia has a similar banking system to other western countries. If you are going to study in Australia, you would need to familiarise yourself with the banking system here.
Having an account with a bank means easy access to the money for paying your expenses and tuition fee. Also, many employers deposit your salary in your bank account, so it will be helpful when you start working.
The main currency of Australia (AUD) is the dollar and it comes in the denomination of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins are issued in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2.
Choosing a Bank
There are 4 big banks known as BIG 4 and lots of other smaller banks where you can open an account in. The BIG 4 banks in Australia are:
There are also many other smaller/regional banks like Bank of Melbourne, Suncorp, Bendigo Bank, Bankwest, ING, Me Bank, Adelaide Bank, Bank of Queensland, St George Bank, Bank SA you can open an account with.
We suggest you shop around for your bank account as there are many options to choose from,
How to open a bank account
Opening a bank account in Australia is a fairly simple process. You can open a bank account for up to 3 months before coming to Australia. You can also open a bank account by visiting a branch or online as well. Whether you open an account in branch or online, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE)
- Letter of Offer/Student ID
- Email address
If you open your bank account online, then you need to make an appointment at your local branch to show them the documents. If you are going to open the bank account by visiting the branch then you can get the account up and running in no time by bringing documents mentioned above.
Meeting the 100-Point requirement
We suggest you open the bank account within the first 6 weeks of arriving as you usually need to provide a passport only for your identity verification.
However, if you don’t open a bank account within 6 weeks of arriving then you will need to meet the 100 point ID requirement. You can use the following documents to meet those point requirements:
- 70 points – Birth Certificate/Passport Citizenship Certificate
- 40 points – Drivers Licence (full / probationary / learner)
- 25 points – Any card on which your name appears: Medicare card/Library card/Student card
- 25 points – Documents on which your name and address appear: Car registration/Utility bill/Rental receipts
Once your identification is confirmed then you will get your Debit card in your mail usually within 7 days. Although you can start using your account usually right away using online banking and apps.
Types of Bank Accounts
There are three main types of bank accounts you can open as an overseas student in Australia
- Transaction Account: Transaction account is an everyday account that is used for your day to day banking need like paying bills, withdrawals using ATMs etc.
- Saving Account: Saving account is useful for when you are planning to save money and keeping large sums into this account earn you interest as well. Usually, it is linked to the transaction account.
- Student Account: Student-specific account is usually offered to students only. It is a transaction account loaded with the some extra benefits like no fee and other added benefits.
Bank Account Format
Your bank account in Australia will be identified by:
- Your Full Name
- BSB Number (Bank State Branch) – 6 digits
- Account Number – 6 to 8 digits
Features to look for in the bank account before opening a bank account
Whether you choose a transaction account, savings account or any other type of account, make sure to look for these features in your bank account:
- No monthly fee
- Debit card
- ATM network
- Competitive interest rates
- Online and mobile banking
- No ATM withdrawal fee
- No-fee international money transfers
Accessing your money
You can access your money online, via ATMs or branches. Most of the people carry less amount of cash as usual payments are done via cards. ATMs of most of the banks are easily accessible 24 hours a day at various locations like shopping centres, 7-11, convenience stores. You can also. withdraw (cash out) money up to $500 from your local supermarket without any fees.
Most of the banks operating hours are between 9.30 am to 4 pm from Monday to Thursday and 9.30 am to 5 pm on Fridays with the exception of some banks opening longer hours on weekdays or opening on weekends.