Australia has similar banking system to the other western countries. 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 banks like Bank of Melbourne, Suncorp, Bendigo Bank, Bankwest, ING, Me Bank, Adelaide Bank, Bank of Queensland, St George Bank, Bank SA.
Having an account with a bank means easy access to the money for paying your expenses. Also, many employers deposit your salary in your bank account, so it will be helpful when you start working.
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 12 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
- 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. We suggest you open the bank account within the first 6 weeks of arriving as you might need to provide more identifications for verification purposes after that.
Features to look for in the bank account before opening a bank account
- No monthly fee
- Debit card
- ATM network
- Online and mobile banking
- No ATM withdrawal fee
- No fee international money transfers
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.
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 upto $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.