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How to Open a Student Bank Account in Australia

Planning to study abroad in Australia? You’ll need some banking advice.

By Razali Norazmi

Banking is an important aspect for students studying abroad, unless of course you’re planning to hide all your money under your mattress.

Students are often fazed by which bank they should go to, what account they should apply for and more importantly, how do they even go about doing it.

In this article, I’ll share some of the most popular banks in Australia and how you can start applying for your first overseas bank account.

The most commonly found banks are dependent on the state that you will be studying in. However, ANZ Bank and Commonwealth bank are the two banks that you will definitely come across when you study abroad in Australia.

I would suggest going with the bank that is most accessible to you. The bank should either be in the school campus or within a proximity of your house. If you are particular about the type of savings plan that will suit your needs, it’s better to read up and compare the bank rates before deciding on one.

In terms of accounts, student usually set up a Student account, which comes with a debit card and an online account. It is common practise in Australia to use the online banking system.

Students find it especially useful when you need to transfer money for items like dinner and even utility bill payments. A student bank account also allows one to own a debit card. Australians use EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer Point of Sale) to make payments at most of their retail outlets. It’s similar to PayWave in Singapore where you just tap using your card to make a payment.

Setting up a bank account is relatively simple. You can pop by any of the branches closest to your home and request for an opening of an account. You can even set up a bank account even before you arrive in Australia, although this service is limited to certain banks.

For online applications, you will be required to select a branch that you will visit to collect your debit card. It’s best to check which is the nearest branch to your accommodation or if there is one within your campus.

To set up a bank account you will require the documents below;

  1. Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCOE)
  2. Passport
  3. Residential Address in Australia
  4. You may also need an Australian Tax File Number (TFN) (www.ato.gov.au)

If you are ever in doubt about opening a bank account, feel free to liaise with our counsellors who will be able to assist you in setting up a bank account even before you arrive in Australia!

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