Australia has modern banking institutions and is in many ways ahead of other developed countries, so you can count on conveniences like managing basic transactions through a mobile app.
Sydney has dozens of banks and credit unions, but as you walk around the city it’s clear there are the “big four”: Westpac, National Australia Bank (NAB), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ). There more or less that same, but there are some slight differences.
offers online and mobile banking and charges a $5 monthly maintenance fee unless you deposit at least $2,000 a month, are under the age of 21, are a full time tertiary student, a pensioner, or during your first 12 months as an expat. You can apply for an account online before you arrive in Australia.
offers online and mobile banking. A $4 monthly account fee is charged, but will be waived if you deposit at least $2,000 per month (or $1,000 if you’re aged 21 to 24). They are the only major bank that does not support opening an account from overseas.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT
To open a bank account you’ll need to pass a 100 point check to prove your identity. Different types of documents are worth varying amounts of points (it’s like a video game, but not fun). The points break down as follows:
For example, you could provide a passport (70 points), a credit card (25 points), and a foreign driver license (25 points) to get a total of 120 points and qualify to open a bank account. If you apply online to open a bank account, you’ll still need to provide this documentation.
Helpful Money Resources
Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA). How to get this extra money from the government.