Opening a Bank Account in Australia from Overseas

Piggy Bank

I have been asked many times if I can recommend a good bank for those of you moving to Australia and I’ve always thought to myself “How can I? I’ve not tried every bank, how can I compare them?

On top of that, there is so much to consider; service fees, deposit rates, interest rates, transfer fees, minimum account balances, overdraft fees, late payment fees, ATM fees, debit card transaction fees and more. Even if I were able to somehow compare them all, each and every one of these fees can be changed by any bank at any time making the comparison outdated.

With something like 20 or so banks to choose from here in Australia it’s an impossible task, even if I made it my full-time job.

Whilst doing my research though, I discovered that the bank I have been with since the day I arrived in Australia, which was in 2007, have now set up a dedicated Migrant Banking service to make opening an account from abroad an absolute breeze.

moving to australiaHere in Australia, just as in many other countries, we have a “Big Four” in our banking world. Those banks are, in alphabetical order, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australian Bank (NAB) and Westpac. It’s difficult to say which is biggest out of those four, it depends which criteria you’re using as a measurement.

Is it profit? Is it assets? Is it equity? Is it market capitalisation? Each and every one of those banks could come first or fourth depending which one you choose.

Westpac though has the biggest branch network around the country with over 1200 locations and they also have over 2900 ATMs. Also…

number 1… no, I didn’t know and I don’t know what it means really, but they are number one all the same.

I have found banking with Westpac very convenient, they have three branches very close to where I live, I can do Internet banking online and I can do banking by telephone as well. Bills can be paid online easily, you can opt out of paper statements and download PDF statements online instead if you want to and whenever I have had dealings with them their staff have always been very friendly, courteous and helpful.

I’ve never had a cross word with them or received a snotty letter.

So I highly recommend Westpac and they have now made it super easy to open an account from abroad.

quick and easyI have a Choice account for my day-to-day personal banking and I also have an e-Saver account as an interest paying deposit account. Opening those two accounts would be the perfect start for anyone about to move to Australia looking for banking facilities.

Westpac do offer many other kinds of accounts though, so once you’re here and you know more precisely what your needs are, you can then start looking at potentially opening additional accounts.

How do you open an account?

open account

Yes, it really is that easy. Click on any of the above images to start the process. It takes just 10 minutes.

You won’t be able to withdraw any money from your account until you have had your identity check, that’s Australian law. You can do that remotely from outside of Australia provided you get your documents certified by an acceptable certifier, Westpac will provide you with a list.

Alternatively you can complete your identity check upon arrival, that’s what I did and it was very easy. Simply turn up at your bank within six weeks of arrival and all you will need to show is your passport, a valid visa and an Australian residential address.

It really is that simple. Click the link below to get started…

Open up a Westpac Account Now

Why wait until you get here?

Visa Assessment Service


{ 147 comments… add one }
  • Irina January 14, 2020, 6:09 pm | Link

    I’m not an Australian citizen. I need a bank account to recieve a child support from Australian resident. Are there any options for me that does not include visiting Ausrtalia? How long the account can stay not activated?

    • BobinOz January 15, 2020, 6:23 pm | Link

      I think your best bet would be to open a PayPal account which would be perfect for your needs. The Australian resident can send Australian dollars to your PayPal account and you can directly transfer that money in your own currency straight to your own bank account.

      It is probably the cheapest way and simplest way for you to receive money from Australia on a regular basis.

      • Simon Elvins January 16, 2020, 10:28 am | Link

        Or Perhaps use something like transfer wise – they do all the exchange stuff at a good rate between any accounts

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