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somehow compare them all, each and every one of these fees can be changed by any bank at any time making the comparison outdated.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.

The Big Four

Here 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 (CommBank), National Australian Bank (NAB) and Westpac. It’s difficult to say which is the biggest out of those four, it depends which criteria you’re using as a measurement.

Is it profit? Is it equity? Is it market capitalisation? Is it the number of branches or even how many ATMs they have? Each and every one of these top 4 banks could probably come first or fourth depending which criteria you choose as a measurement. Only one bank has the most ‘total assets’ though, and as such is known as Australia’s largest bank.

And that bank has also made it incredibly easy for you to open a bank account here in Australia from overseas with:

  • no Australian address needed to open your account
  • complete your application quickly and easily online
  • get your account number in 5 minutes

Introducing Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Let me introduce you to Commonwealth Bank of Australia. They’re known to Aussies as CommBank. CommBank is Australia’s largest bank. They’ve been helping Australian dreams come true since 1911, and support more people moving to Australia than any other bank.

Here’s what you might like to know about CommBank:

  • Australia’s largest bank
  • Bank on the go with the CommBank app
  • Australia’s most extensive branch and ATM network
  • Multi-lingual staff in some branches
  • ATMs with foreign language capabilities

And best of all, you can set up your account with CommBank within just five minutes after clicking on open my Australian bank account now and then click on the yellow tab on the right-hand side of the main menu called Bank accounts.

So, if you’re ready to open your Australian bank account, click on open my Australian bank account now.

Changing your local currency into Australian dollars

Of course, at some point you will need to exchange your local currency into Australian dollars when you move to Australia. Getting the best exchange rate possible is critical and for this I would strongly suggest that you do not use CommBank, or any high street bank anywhere in the world to do this.

To get the best exchange rate, you need to use a dedicated currency exchange company. For more information about that, please visit my page about currency exchange:

Are you ready to open your Australian bank account?

Please be aware that whilst you can open your account at CommBank before you arrive, you won’t be able to deposit any money into your account until you have had your identity check, that’s Australian law.

You can complete your identity check upon arrival though, it’s very quick and easy. Simply turn up at the branch you chose when you opened your account online with your passport and your tax residency details.

Why wait until you get here? Open your Australian bank account now.

Things you should know: Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 is a company incorporated in Australia with limited liability and subject to Australian regulation.



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

    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 |

      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 |

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

Leave a Comment

If your comment doesn’t get answered, find out why…..
FAQs and Comment Policy.