Setting Up An Expat International Bank Account In Australia

Tiffany Jansen
Updated October 5th, 2020 | Posted: May 9th, 2014
Melbourne AustraliaMelbourne City Victoria Australia

Congrats, you have made the move to Australia. Now it is time to set up your bank account.

Opening a bank account in Australia is straight-forward, banks are very helpful to expats and there are many banks to choose from.

Money Matters

Australia’s currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD or $A), and is divided into 100 cents.

The denominations are as follows:
Notes: 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar notes
Coins: 1, 2, and 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Australia and ATM machines can be found easily.

With a "transaction account" - same as a current account, you will be afforded the facilities of an ATM card, cheque book and an EFTPOS card, this is the PIN card that can be used in shops, also for direct debits and may also have an overdraft.

Banks in Australia
There are a number of banks offering services to expats including local banks like Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and National Australia Bank. In addition there are many international banks including Bank of China, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays and Credit Suisse.

What You'll Need
Here’s a list of items you’ll need to open a bank account:
  1. Certified copy of your passport
  2. Proof of address (e.g. recent utility bill)
  3. Bank statements which cover the previous three months.
Good to Know
Most Australian banks will allow you to open a bank account before you arrive in Australia.

However you can open an account in your first six weeks in Australia with just your passport.

If you have been in Australia for some time then you may have to go through the ‘100 point system’ which proves your identity.

Some of the Identification documents and the points associated are:
Passport- current or expired within last two years, but not cancelled (70 points).

Birth Certificate/Extract (70 points).

Citizenship Certificate (70 points). For a more detailed look at the 100 point system go here.

Remember always conduct your own research before opening an account in any country. Shop around until you find a bank that will best suit your needs during your stay in Australia.

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