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Banks in Australia

Banks in Australia are amongst the top lucrative in the world. They love their clients with platonic passion. That is the why they are cutting off agencies and replacing them with electronic terminals and charging fees for the transactions. All they want, is to improve their services in benefit of the clients.Westpac Bank- Link to official website

Banks in Australia are under staffed, and it is not rare to see agencies with only 2 or 3 people working. Practically the Australian does not use a bank, and the only cases are to open an account, to request a loan, or to make a home Mortgage. All other transactions are made by internet, telephone or ATM, ( the electronic boxes spread all over in any city). You still can make deposits or withdraws face to face in the balcony, but usually the bank charges a percentage, higher than electronically. 

Banks have few waiting lines, and they don't receive bills. Many functions have been transferred to a computer, some, with voice recognition devices. This has been causing some problems specially to migrants with strong accents. The bloody machine can't recognize what you say. It operates for voice identification, or either, it asks and you answer. If your accent is very strong, and you say "Vique" instead of "Week", the machine cannot understand you and it is all over. In this case, You will have to visit personally the bank and pay for the extra service.

The main Australian banks are:  Westpack, Suncorp, Commonwealth, ANZ, National Australian Bank, and St. George. Each one operates in a different way, charging different taxes for transactions. For example, some accounts allow you to make 5 free transactions each month and paid A$ 1,50 for extra transaction. Another one can give you 10 free transactions but than charge A$ 2,50 for exceeding transaction. Some charge $ X to remove money in electronic boxes of the bank, and X+Y if the operation will be made in an ATM electronic box that does not belong to the bank.

It is very difficult to know which is most economic bank, and therefore you have to first estimate the number of transactions each month. If you cannot do it , it's better revive a scientist for help, because it is really very complicated. 

There are many types of bank account. Savings Account is one of the most popular and pays a small interests. This account will not give you a check book, if you need cheques is better open Cheque Account. But usually in Australia, the only one in need and still operates checks are business and companies who effect payments for post office. Everything else it is made through the banking card and internet. Any way if you need you can buy a bank check.

When opening a Savings Account, the bank will give you a Bank Card, that it will allow you to deposit and to remove money in any electronic box or terminals EFTPOS as they are called. The debit in this card is automatic, and when inserted in the machine, it checks if the account possesses enough money and the limit, and immediately debits the value. 

99,9% of the shops in Australia work with this system. But be careful of not exceeding the free transactions by month, otherwise the bank will be very thankful. Many stores when you are buying an article, ask if you would like extra cash. This is a smart move if you need money, therefore you're not burning your free transactions. For example you will just ask for $70 in cash in a purchase of 30, that 100 will be debited of the account, and you will be making only one instead of two transactions (this the bank is not thankful).

International Credit cards are accepted in practically all the electronic boxes and terminals EFTPOS, being the most accepted Visa and Master Card. 

Opening an account - to open an account you do not need to have any money at all. You can open as many accounts you want with $ zero. But there is a general rule to open accounts, that includes a system of points for each presented document. 

IMPORTANT: Arriving in the Australia, you can open an account using only your Passport since it is done in the first 6 weeks (it varies from bank to bank) If you delay more than 6 weeks to open an account, will be subject to the requirements below: 

The 100 Point System - You have that to present documents that add 100 points - the number of points for each type of document is shown in the table below:

·     Birth Certificate
Passport
Citizenship Certificate

70 points

You can only get points for one item in this section

·      Drivers Licence (full / probationary / learner)
Shooters Licence
Public Service Employee ID card
Commonwealth or State Government financial entitlement card (eg Pension card)

40 points

These cards must have a photograph or signature

·     Any card on which your name appears:
Medicare card
Credit Card (only 1 per institution)
Store Account card
Video Store Card
Library Card
Union Card

25 points

 

·     Documents on which your name and address appear:
Car registration
Utility bill
Rental receipts
Records of another financial institution showing you've been a member for 12 months or more

25 points

 

 Are there any restrictions on taking money into or out of Australia?

Australia no longer operates Exchange Control, and Australian residents are free to move money into and out of Australia, and save and invest overseas as they wish. However, amounts of more than AUD10,000 in cash (but not bank drafts, or travellers cheques) must be reported to Australian customs when carried into or out of Australia. Keepng your money overseas does not exempt you from paying Australian tax on it either.

Can I open a bank account in Australia before I arrive?

It depends on where you are arriving from. If your home country operates exchange controls, you may find it difficult. If not, you should check with your current bank to see if it has any special links with an Australian bank (eg some UK banks are owned by the National Australia Bank), or check with any Australian banks who operate in your current country of residence if they will help you to open an account with one of their Australian branches. 

 Money, Finance, Banks & tax links for Australia

Australian Tax Office (ATO)

www.ato.gov.au

ANZ Bank

www.anz.com.au

Westpac Bank

www.westpack.com.au

Commonwealth Bank

www.commbank.com.au

National Australia Bank  

www.national.com.au

Suncorp Metway

www.suncorp.com.au

Woolworths EzyBank

www.ezybaqnking.com.au

ING Bank

www.ingbank.com.au

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