Banking in Australia

You should aim to open an Australian bank account within 6 weeks of arriving in Australia.

Working & studying

Earn some money and gain valuable work experience with a part-time or casual role while you study. It’s a great way to develop your career skills and make your CV stand out. 

Managing your money

How to open a bank account

You will need a bank account in Australia to keep all your money safe, to be able to pay bills and to get paid if you decide to work while you are here. Here’s how you open a bank account!

1. Visit your nearest bank within 6 weeks of arriving in Australia.

Australia's biggest banks include:

2. Present your passport to the bank staff and let them know you’d like to open a bank account.

3. Complete the relevant paperwork given to you by the bank staff.

Debit cards and ATMs

When you open your bank account you will be issued with a Debit Card (bank card). This will allow you to purchase items with the card in-store or online using your own money. You will also be able to withdraw cash at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) with this card.

We recommend that you use your bank's ATMs when withdrawing cash, as other banks will charge you a fee of up to $2.50. However, some banks do partner together to offer their customers more convenient and free cash withdrawals. 

Payment methods

Understand the different ways to pay

In Australia, there are several ways in which you can pay your bills and for in-store items. Below, we explain the differences between each one.

BPAY is an electronic bill payment system in Australia that enables payments to be made (through a financial institution's online, mobile or telephone banking facility) to organisations that are registered BPAY billers.

EFTPOS stands for Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale. It is an electronic payment system involving electronic funds transfers when you use your bank card - such as debit or credit cards - to pay when you buy something at a store.

Direct debits are generally used for recurring payments, such as rent and utility bills, or your mobile phone bill. You can set this up through your online banking, and it allows you to directly transfer money to pay a bill.

If you plan on having a credit card, you should speak to your bank to determine which card suits your needs. If you are using a credit card from your home country you may be charged an international transaction fee, so you should contact your home country bank to confirm all the possible charges before you use it in Australia.