Regardless of where you choose to settle in Australia, there are basic mandatory regulations which govern banking and this is upheld by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. This ensures Australian financial institutions are efficient, stable and competitive.
There are a range of bank accounts available. The most common are Cheque, Savings, Credit or Debit. A debit card acts like a credit card but instead of borrowing money from the bank, you are using your own money. A popular new account available in Australia is the Debit Mastercard or Debit Visa Card. This enables you to leverage the use of VISA and MASTERCARD but accessing your own bank account for funds instead of credit.
To open an Australian bank account, a minimum 100 point identification check is required. This will usually comprise of 2-3 standard documents such as either a passport (70 points) or drivers license (70 points) along with other forms of identification such as a credit card, bank card, letter from an employer or utilities company, etc, which can contribute 10-25 points each.
Many banks offer the option to open an account online or by mail, however, you will need to go to a branch to present your identification and signature before the account is activated. You do not need to make an appointment as banks have separate personnel from bank tellers who take care of new accounts. There may be a short 10-15 minute wait.
All banks offer online banking. Also, if you have a keycard, credit card or debit card, you can withdraw money from one of the many ATM’s around. Many shops also offer EFTPOS, which is where you can pay for your shopping with your bank card. Some shops also offer a withdrawal facility, where you can pay for your goods and also withdraw money from your account. Using an ATM that is not your bank’s usually incurs a $2.00 transaction fee.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority http://www.apra.gov.au