Australian banks

In Australia, there are four major banks:

  • ANZ
  • NAB
  • Westpac
  • Commonwealth

There are also branches of overseas banks located in Melbourne

You also need a bank account if you intend to work as most employers in Australia send salaries directly into employees' accounts.

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Proof of identification

Australian banks are required to ask you for proof of identity (ID) before opening a bank account. You will need to provide sufficient information and identification to satisfy a '100 point ID check'.

Remember to take your student ID card to the bank once you receive it so you can open a student account that does not charge account keeping fees.

100 points

  • Passport (if you arrived in Australia less than 6 weeks ago)

70 points, only one document from:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Citizenship certificate

40 points - must have a photo or signature from:

  • RMIT University student card
  • Health insurance document
  • Confirmation of enrolment from RMIT Univeristy
  • Australian Licence (one of car, boat or firearm)
  • Pension or Healthcare card
  • Government issued proof of age card

25 points

  • Mastercard or a Visa card issued from a bank
  • Utility bill or rate notice (in your full name and stating current address)
  • Medicare card
  • Foreign drivers licence

You need to supply a residential address. (This could be your temporary address until you find permanent accommodation). Remember to notify the bank when you change your address.

Types of bank accounts

There are a number of different accounts you can open. Most banks charge fees, however larger banks offer student accounts that do not have account keeping fees for students:

  • You can open a daily transaction account. All you need is AUD$1 if you are a full-time student. Full-time students are not charged any account fees and there are unlimited, free electronic transactions.
  • You may also open a savings account. This account will have limited free withdrawals per month but usually has higher rates of interest.

International students can open an Australian bank account before arriving. You can transfer money into this account and when you arrive in Australia you can access your funds once you have provided your 100 point ID check to your bank.

Your bank might ask for your Tax File Number. You can apply for a Tax File Number for free online through the Australian Taxation Office.

Transferring money

When you have opened an account, you should advise whoever is transferring money from overseas of your banking details.

The banking details required include the 6 digit BSB (Bank State Branch) code. Your bank will provide you with this code and many have it on their website.