Life in Australia / Setting up a bank account

Setting up a bank account

Setting up a bank account

To get the best deal, do some research at either the bank customer service centres or online.

To open a bank account in Australia you will usually need: 

  • your passport (with arrival date stamped by Australian immigration)
  • Student ID card 
  • money to deposit into the account (this can be as little as $10).

You will need to show your student ID card to open a student bank account which will have no or low fees. For a comparison of accounts in banks throughout Australia visit banks.com.au/personal/accounts

Most people in Australia have internet and/or telephone banking so they can manage their money from home. When you set up your account you can request these services from your bank.

Most bank branches are open from Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 4.00 pm (except on public holidays). Some branches have extended trading hours during the week and may be open on Saturdays (check with your individual bank). ATMs are available 24 hours a day. Keep your personal safety in mind while using the ATM. Cover the keypad when entering your PIN, don't withdraw large amounts of money, and use an ATM in a well it public area when withdrawing money at night.

You can purchase items in Australia by cash, credit card or EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale). EFTPOS allows you to use the card attached to your Australian bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash at the same time. To do this, ask if you can get 'cash out' when finalising your purchase. You can choose to make the EFTPOS transaction from your savings account, cheque account or credit card.

EFTPOS is available at most retail outlets, although smaller retailers may not allow you to get cash out or may place limits on how much you can withdraw. Note: For safety reasons, your bank will set a daily withdrawal limit on your account. Please contact your bank for more information.

Note: For safety reasons, your bank will set a daily withdrawal limit on your account. Please contact your bank for more information.

Safety when carrying money 

Use common sense when accessing and using your money.

Some general safety tips include:

  • don't carry large amounts of cash
  • don't write down your pin or passwords, memorise them and don't share them with anyone
  • don't leave your valuables unattended
  • keep an 'emergency' credit or debit card in a safe place at home so you can still access your money if your wallet is lost or stolen
  • if you're in a crowd, ensure your wallet is in a safe place and can't be easily taken from your pocket or bag.
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