Do You Need to Open a Bank Account Before Moving to Australia?

  What are the things you need to remember to do when move to Australia?   Moving to Australia is the dream. When you finally get your visa, you get all excited jumping up and down like a kid with a lollipop.   You invite everyone in your town for a fiesta-like thanksgiving celebration complete with Lechon, Kaldereta and Afritada, pots and pots of rice, cases of liquor, leche flan and all sorts of kakanin. The works! You pack your stuff and said goodbye to every important person like a TV drama unfolding.   But wait!   Did you remember to open an Australian bank account?   This is an important step because the moment you land down under, you would have to look and rent for a house.   Renting a place in Australia usually requires you to pay a month’s worth of rent for down payment and rent fees are paid every two weeks.   So, unless you plan to carry a lot of money or you have free housing, opening a bank account is necessary.   In addition, your employer would also ask for your bank account details so they can send your month’s pay there.   Presently, there are 4 big banks in Australia, alphabetically arranged, the are: ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australian Bank and Westpac.   So far, ANZ and Westpac allow Filipinos to open a bank account with them while in the Philippines.   To open an account, you would of course need to pass required documents for identity check.   After choosing a bank, you may choose the type of account you that will work best for your needs:   Transaction Accounts   This is an account Australians use to deposit their money for everyday needs like paying bills and other expenses. This account does not pay interest on your money. This is like the current account that we have here in the Philippines.   Savings Accounts   Your money in this account accumulates interest, depending of course on your bank’s rates. Some banks may even put some restrictions on money being spent from this account to make sure you really save.   Term Deposits   Works the same way as our Time Deposit accounts. You may choose to set 1 month to 5 years term before you may access your money. When your money reaches “maturation” you may choose to withdraw all the money or withdraw only the interest and keep the rest in the bank again, or to put all of your initial savings plus interest in for a new term deposit.   Australian banks usually close earlier and on weekends. So it is also important to know how you want to access your money. To get money for everyday use you may:   Visit a branch and withdraw over the counter. Branches are usually available in malls.   ATMs are also available and works just like ATMs here in the Philippines.   EFTPOS or Electronic Fund Transfer at point of sale is linked to a debit or credit card. Account holder needs to sign for the transaction to push through. Some retailers also allow cash withdrawals (with fee).   Mobile phones or tablets as a developed country, naturally, Australia already has mobile banking. An initial registration with the bank is usually required. You may visit your banks website for transactions or download their app.   Internet and Online banking is a secure and cost effective way to transact your banking needs. This needs an initial registration as well but after that, you can access your account anywhere and anytime.   Contactless Card will still need you to hold your credit or debit card with Visa payWeave or MasterCard Pay Pass against a compatible terminal. You may use this for purchases under $100 without needing to sign, input pin, swipe or inserting your card.   Remember to inquire about opening an account here in the Philippines before you leave. Make an intelligent choice on which bank will serve you best and what kind of account you need.   Moving overseas, after all, is a huge undertaking. Emotions will run high at one point or another, at least you have one thing less to worry about.   Special thanks to Daniel for the main image.
Rica J

I am a mother, a wife and a technology loving Filipina who loves reading hi-fiction books (dragons!) , good stories, dancing, laughter, lying on the grass and eating balut. I am born and raised in the Philippines and now resides in Australia but finds myself in the Philippines for at least 3 months a year. I am part of the Filipino Australian Community and have been living between Australia and the Philippines since 2007.


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