Australia has a few big banks and many smaller, independent banks. The Deakin University Community Bank (DUCB) is also an option and offers students $25 for opening a new student bank account. You should compare banks to see which is best for you.
You can generally apply for an account online before taking the following to the bank in-person to finalise your account:
You may also be required to show your student visa and/or Confirmation of Enrolment if you are opening a student account.
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 instore 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.
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.