Australian Bank Accounts

The Australian Banking System

Australia has a well-developed banking system with a number of different institutions. The main players are commonly known as the ‘Big Four’. They include:

  • NAB
  • Commonwealth Bank
  • ANZ
  • Westpac
  • Monthly Fee
  • Account Type
  • Internet & Phone Banking
  • Account Opened With Zero Balance
  • Extras
nab Australian Bank Account
  • Visa Debit Card
  • No Monthly fees, ever!

    No minimum deposit.

    No Australian address required

HSBC Australian Bank Account
  • Visa Debit Card
  • Easy to link savings account Very small Australian branch network
  • Visa Debit Card
  • Added security of ANZ Falcon fraud protection.
  • Debit Mastercard
  • eStatements available
  • Debit Mastercard
  • Cheques included Assisted Phone Banking

NAB Is The Recommended Bank Account For New Migrants Coming To Australia

NAB has a specific migrant banking division to ensure they offer a streamlined account opening process prior to their arrival including:

  • easy online application (about 10 minutes to apply)
  • no Australian address required to open accounts
  • transaction and savings accounts with no opening or monthly fees
  • accounts opened with a zero balance (no minimum deposit) (up to 12 months in advance), client transfer funds at their convenience
  • dedicated banker and branch information

Their minimal fees and migrant department are key elements that led the authors to recommend NAB Australian bank accounts.
It should also be noted that as one of Australia’s largest bank they have an extensive network of branches, ATM and other personalised services.

Banking for New Migrants

The banking needs of new migrants will often be quite different to existing Australian customers. A number of banks offer Migrant Banking Services and have dedicated staff to help you set up a bank account before you even arrive in Australia. Be aware that most of the products and services offered by Australian banks are quite similar. See the comparison table below for more details. It is recommended you apply for an Australian bank account within six weeks of your arrival. This enables you to use your passport to satisfy all the identification points required when opening a new account with an Australian bank. Otherwise, to open an Australian bank account you need:

  • Identification. such as a driver’s license or your passport
  • Proof of an address in Australia
  • In some cases a reference from your old bank

Australian banks usually require 100 points of identification to open an account, where each form of identification holds a different point value. For example, a birth certificate equals 70 points and a driver’s license is 40 points.