How to open a bank account in Australia

How to open a bank account in Australia

As the amazing country that is is, Australia is an expat paradise. It has nature, beautiful and friendly people and an atmosphere that you get to succeed if you play it right. It is sort of like the United States in that sense.

You will need a bank account to perform international money transfers, pay bills like your rent and make payments by credit card - all of the aforementioned without the worry of paying excessive international bank fees.

It is a wonderful country and if you are thinking of moving there using its immigration system, or as a student or investor or if you want to retire beachside, you will need a bank account for sure. Here is our guide on how to open a bank account in Australia.

Documents needed to open a bank account in Australia

Similar to their immigration system, Australians created a points system to grant its people bank accounts with each document type being valued a number of points. You will need to make it to 100 points if you want to comply.

  • Birth certificate, passport or citizenship documents - 70 points
  • Drivers' license, shooters’ licence, public employee ID - 40 points
  • Land Rates - 35 points
  • A card with your name on it. A credit card or store card for instance - 25 points
  • A utility bill or bank statement with your address -  25 points

It should not be too hard. As you can see there are plenty of options for you and just by having a passport and a driver's license you will be covered with all you need. In fact, if you just landed in Australia and try to open an account in under 6 weeks, just a passport is enough.

Can I open a bank account in Australia as a non-resident?

Yes, it is possible to open a bank account in Australia as a non-resident and each bank will have different rules and regulations governing its processes to grant you an account. As a non-resident we recommend you get in touch with your choice of bank to investigate further on the matter.

Best banks in the Australia

As a prosperous nation, banks are numerous and what you consider as appropriate should depend largely on your personal needs such as convenience and cost effectiveness. With that said, most retail banks have a full stack of service and product offers for you with reasonable charges and extensive ATM and branch networks.

Here are the 4 largest banks in Australia:

  • National Australian Bank: this is one the most prominent and largest banks in the country with 1500+ branches and nearly 3500 ATMs. Their accounts are varied and numerous starting with a basic account which is free to keep and comes with a contactless debit cards. If you need to go beyond everyday banking, there are plenty of options for custom and private banking which will include credit cards and investment advice.
  • Commonwealth Bank: with accounts created with newcomers in mind, this could be a good option for expats albeit you need to make sure your choice will be convenient. Their expat account is called Smart Access Account and it costs only 4 dollars a month and it comes with a contactless debit card. If you need to see their ATM and branch coverage, visit this page.
  • ANZ: one of the biggest advantages of ANZ is that you can open an account online before you even land in the country. This account is free for a year and it comes with a debit card. Their relationship manager service is excellent for businesses starting out in Australia as it comes with special advice tailored to your industry. Here are their branches and ATMs.
  • Westpac: with a free account for at least 12 months and longer if you are a student, their Everyday Bank Account comes also with a debit card. You can also apply online and they also have a series of business account options which include loans and insurance for your business. Here is a list of their ATM and branch locations which is especially great because they are part of what is called a Global ATM Alliance.  

There are many options beyond these four yet being the largest chances are these will be extra convenient for most people and hence us going into more detail with each. It is important to look into every bank in detail especially if you go abroad often or away from your everyday location since ATM fees can be quite high and currency conversion for taking cash in a foreign currency are outrageous with banks.

Opening a bank account in Australia via a travelers company

In order to make opening a bank account in Australia easier, it is possible to take advantage of a travelers company. This is a popular form of opening an account because it is simultaneously helpful with the acquisition of a Tax File Number and your Medicare Card.

In order to make the process of opening a bank account in Australia as easy as possible, it is best if you do so within 6 weeks of arrival. This way you will only need a passport as your identification.

Open an account within 6 weeks of your arrival

If you wait longer than 6 weeks after your arrival in Australia, in order to open a bank account you will be required to provide additional forms of identification such as a birth certificate, a driving license and a credit card.

How to open a bank account in Australia through a travelers company

There are few options for opening a bank account in Australia that give you the peace of mind like opening one with a travelers company. To put it simply, you get everything setup before you even leave for Australia. Remember that this is a service that you are likely to pay for and it will come as a package deal with a bunch of other services included.

Here are some services that will be included:

  • A bank account in Australia
  • Tax File Number
  • Visa Assistance
  • Employment Assistance
  • Mobile phone SIM cards
  • Accommodation
  • Orientation

The virtual bank account alternative

If you move money abroad from Australia using a bank, you are paying too much

Moving money anywhere in the world is expensive if you use a bank. If you need to send 10 thousand dollars to India, for example, you only get 9000 dollars worth of rupees back in India. This is a reality with most banks and retail remittance systems because they have high operational costs to cover.

With B2B Pay, you get 9900 euros worth of rupees back home. In other words, you save 900 euros or so with every transfer. Plus you get a virtual bank account for free in Europe with an IBAN number you can use to send and receive money within the EU and send money abroad to anyone in 33 currencies.

How to open a bank account in Europe

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple European countries and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.



How to open a bank account overseas

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple countries all over the world and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.


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