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Bank accounts in Australia explained

If you’re planning on moving to Australia (or perhaps you’ve recently moved), sorting out your banking is likely to be high up on your list of things to do.

Getting your head around the banking system in a new country can be confusing and Australia is no exception, so we’ve summarised some of the main points for you to consider.

Accounts to take care of your everyday banking

You may need an account to help manage your day-to-day banking. In Australia, this type of account is known as a transaction or everyday banking account or checking account. In other countries it may be known as a current account or checking account.

Transaction accounts are designed to give you easy access to your cash.  It may be the account you transfer money into, or if you’re working it could be the account your employer could pay your salary into.  With some transaction accounts you may get access to your money through such channels as ATMs and via a linked debit card to make in store and online purchases. And of course, you can also access money in person at a branch.

Online savings accounts

These accounts could offer higher rates of interest in return for more restricted account access. Account holders are usually encouraged to make internet or telephone transfers.

Account features

Someone may choose this account to earn interest in comparison to low interest bearing transactional accounts. Interest rates can include an introductory bonus rate. It’s important to check all the interest rate details and any fees and other conditions (including deposit conditions) when applying for these.

Bonus interest accounts

Some savings accounts can offer bonus interest as an incentive not to touch your cash, provided you meet certain requirements such as depositing a minimum amount or not making any withdrawals over a set period.

Account features

The incentive to save could be attractive with bonus interest.

Term deposits

With a term deposit a lump sum of money is deposited for a selected term at a fixed interest rate. The amount of interest earned of these accounts will depend on the term and applicable interest rate.

Account Features and Fees

A term deposit could provide certainty of knowing exactly what interest will be paid on the deposit. However there may be fees and charges associated with breaking this account early before the term has matured.

High tech banks – how digital is leading the way in Australian banks

Like many aspects of modern lives, banking has become increasingly high tech in Australia. Not only can you manage and access your money through branches and ATMS or even online and mobile banking, these days there are a raft of other options available to make your banking easy, including fingerprint login and cardless cash options (where you can access money at an ATM without needing a card).

Opening an account in Australia

You may think opening up an account in a different country is likely to be a daunting process. The good news is if you’re opening a transaction account in Australia, with some Australian banks, not only can you do it up to 12 months before you arrive, you can do it in as little as 3 minutes online – and you don’t need an Australian address to open it.

 

Find out more about opening an everyday Australian bank account