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Opening a bank account in Australia before your departure (free) – Australiance

26 septembre 2020


Opening a bank account is a key step of your expatriation/stay, especially if you want to work in Australia, however, it is not easy in a foreign country. Our team of expatriates has been in Australia for more than 9 years and gives you its advice.

The most practical solution we have tested is to open a bank account before you leave. This will save you time as you can transfer your savings to your Australian account before you leave and be paid by an employer as soon as you arrive. Moreover, it is free of charge for internationals. We have chosen Westpac for our bank accounts in Australia.

  • Westpac is Australia’s 2nd largest bank, with more than 3000 distributors in the country and more than 50,000 through their partners, you are sure to find a Westpac distributor wherever you go!
  • Westpac is the only bank that offers a dedicated bank account for internationals, which is free and can be opened before you leave in 3 minutes! It’s very easy and you’ll have no charge for 1 year.
  • Westpac has a partnership with BNP Paribas. This allows BNP customers to have no bank charges when they withdraw at a cash dispenser.*
  • The Westpac mobile application is very practical. You can view your current or savings accounts at any time and make a transfer in a few minutes.

*This is not the case for transfers, but you can always withdraw from an ATM and then go and deposit your cash into your Australian account at the bank counter.

Westpac allows simultaneous opening:

  • The Westpac Choice, current account: the credit account: If you are under 21 years of age, are a full-time student and transfer more than AU$ 2,000 per month into your account, you will not be charged any bank fees. Otherwise, the fee is $5/month.
  • The Westpac eSaver savings account: with an interest rate of 3.92% per year (+ 1.42% bonus for the first 3 months). Interest is paid monthly.

The procedure for opening an account is as follows:

1. Click on « Westpac Site« (you’ll also find a lot of useful information there)

2. Click on « Get Started ».

3. Opening a bank account is very easy and takes only 5 minutes. You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire in English asking you:

– Your sex / Gender

– Your first name/First name

– Votre nom de famille/ Last name

– Votre date de naissance/Date of birth

– Your Visa/Which Visa do you have

– Your phone number/Phone number

– Your email/E-mail

– Votre adresse actuelle/Current address

– Votre date d’arrivée/Date of arrival

– Lieu d’arrivée/Place of arrival

– The closest Westpac agency for you in Australia/The closest Westpac agency for you in Australia

– Your secteur professionnel/The sector you work in

– Votre revenu annuel (optional)/How much is your annual wage (optional)

– How did you hear about Westpac/How did you hear about Westpac

Don’t forget to check the Westpac eSaver box if you wish to open a savings account at the same time as a current account (highly recommended).

Once you have completed this online questionnaire, Westpac will send you an email confirming the opening of your account and you will receive all your identifiers within 5 to 15 days. You will then receive these documents by mail at your current postal address.

As soon as you receive your login and password, you can call the hotline Westpac (+61) 2 92 93 92 70 to activate your account. Activation is immediate.

You can transfer money as soon as your account is activated, or leave it empty (but make sure you have at least $5 (or €3.5) before the end of the month).

You will not be able to withdraw money until you have completed your identification. To do so, you must go to a Westpac branch with identification within 90 days (3 months) of your arrival.

Once identified, you will be able to withdraw money at a counter and apply for a credit card. A MasterCard Debit will be sent to your Australian address within 15 days, or you can pick it up at a branch within 7 days.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to receive your Debit Card (MasterCard Debit) prior to your identification in Australia.

It’s easy and free! Enjoy your stay in Australia and feel free to contact the Australiance Expatriate Team to get more advice about living abroad.

Good to know:
– You can only open your bank account a maximum of one year before your arrival in Australia (maximum time to complete the identification process).
– You will need a mailing address in Australia. No stress, you can give a temporary address which you can then change.

Tip to save money:

  • Withdrawing from an ATM of another bank belonging to the International Alliance Global ATM Group will not cost you anything if you travel abroad with your Westpac card. The banks are St George and the Bank of Melbourne.
  • For French people, in order to avoid international transfer fees, all you have to do is withdraw from an ATM and deposit your cash at the branch counter. Don’t forget to check your payment limits with your French bank before leaving.
  • For all Europeans, if you wish to make an online transfer, your European bank will ask you for the IBAN of your Australian account. However, the IBAN is a European standard. So, to make a transfer to your Australian account, you just need the following information: your BSB (Branch Number) + Account Number + SWIFT code. Westpac will provide you with them.

Find all our advice on money in Australia (prices, budget, information on transfers …) here.

Click on « Westpac Website« to open your bank account at one of Australia’s largest banks.