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How to open a new bank account online

Here's how to open a new personal bank account online in 4 easy steps, and the information and ID you'll need to have ready.

How to open a bank account online

You can open a bank online by following these steps:

  1. Choose your account. Compare bank accounts and choose the one you'd like to open.
  2. Complete online application. Complete the online application form on the bank's website (this takes 5-10 minutes).
  3. Verify your identity. You'll need to verify your identity with your driver's license, passport or other ID documents.
  4. Activate your debit card. Your debit card will arrive in the mail within the week, simply follow the prompts to active it.

Let's go into each of these steps in more detail.

Step 1: Choose your new bank account

Shop around to find the right bank account for you. When looking at accounts, look for features like no monthly account keeping fee or ATM fees, a range of supported payment options and additional perks like cashback offers. If you go overseas often, you might want to consider a bank account with no international transaction fees.


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Step 2: Apply for your account online

Once you've chosen your account, it's time to start the online application. You’re required to provide some basic information about yourself such as your name, date of birth and residential address, driver’s license number and tax file number (TFN) if you have it.

If you're already a customer of the bank, you can usually skip this part by giving your existing customer number.

Step 3: Verify your identity

If you're a new customer, you will need to verify your identity before you’re approved for the account. This can be done online depending on the identification documents you can provide. Some banks require that you verify your identity in person, for example if you're opening an account for a child who doesn't have ID. Again, if you’re already a customer of the bank, you won’t need to complete this step.

What do I need to open a bank account online?

You will generally have to choose one of the following options:

  • One form of primary photographic ID: such as a driver's license, passport or proof of age card.
  • Two forms of primary non-photographic ID: such as a birth certificate, citizenship certificate or pension card.
  • One of each: One form of primary non-photographic ID (such as a birth certificate, citizenship certificate or pension card) and one form of secondary ID (such as a government financial benefits notice from the past 12 months, an ATO notice of assessment from the last 12 months, or a rates notice or utility bill issued in the last three months)

Any ID you supply when opening a bank account must be valid (i.e. make sure your passport hasn't expired) and must exactly match the name you provide on your application. Once the verification has been completed you can make deposits to the account but you won’t be able to make withdrawals if you haven't verified your identity.

You'll also need to provide a few personal details, including:

  • Personal details. You will need to supply your gender, full name, date of birth and residential address.
  • Contact details. The bank will require your phone number and email address.
  • Tax File Number (TFN). While it's not mandatory for you to supply your TFN, doing so will ensure that you don't have to pay withholding tax on the interest earned from your savings account.

Step 4: Activate your debit card

The bank account debit card will arrive in the mail after you’ve been approved. You’ll find out how long it takes when you get the confirmation email once you submit the online application, however it usually takes between 3-7 business days. The debit card and PIN are sent to you separately for security reasons. When you get your card, you need to sign the back and activate it so you can make withdrawals. This is a simple process that can be completed over the phone or online. The letter that comes in the mail with your card will have clear instructions on how to activate it.

Step 5: Starting using it!

  • Switch your direct debits and automatic payments. Transfer all of automatic payments to your new account by filling out a switch of regular payments consent form. This gives your new bank account provider permission to switch your automatic payments to your new account and saves you from manually changing each direct debit agreement.
  • Set up internet banking. The final step should be to set up internet banking. This lets you manage your money and make payments to other accounts from your internet connected device. Download the account provider’s internet banking application and give their customer service team a call to create a password.

Requirements to open a bank account online:

  • You must be an Australian resident with an Australian residential address
  • You must be at least 18 years old (for most banks)
  • You must be able to provide 100 points of ID to complete the bank's customer identification process or be an existing customer of that bank
  • You must be using the bank account for personal purposes only

Applying for a joint account

Most accounts in Australia can be opened as joint bank accounts with one other person (or sometimes more). There will be an option at the start of the application form to select if you're opening the account as a joint account. If you are, each person will need to verify their ID.

Finder survey: How do Australians open bank accounts?

ResponseWAVICSAQLDNSW
Online45.63%48.48%46.58%49.75%48.45%
In-branch43.69%43.56%46.58%41.12%40.99%
Through an app5.83%5.68%4.11%6.09%8.39%
Over the phone4.85%2.27%2.74%2.54%1.55%
Other0.51%0.62%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1004 Australians, December 2023
Data for ACT, NT, TAS not shown due to insufficient sample size. Some other states may also be excluded for this reason.

Benefits of opening an account online

There’s no need to visit a branch to open a bank account anymore. You can open a bank account, deposit money and set up automatic payments all from the comfort of your home. Once you’ve applied, just wait for the card to be sent you in the mail, activate the account and you’re good to go.

    • You can skip the bank queues. Why wait in line at your local branch when you can apply and open a bank account online in minutes.
    • It's easy to do. The application form is simple to complete, we promise!
    • It doesn't take long to open. The online application only takes 10 minutes to complete and you should have a response about what happens next within minutes of submitting the application.

Help! I still have more questions

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    MakaiMay 26, 2023

    My brother is 17 and opening an account for the first time. I have my Medicare card, pension card and healthcare card. Will this be enough Identification? As I don’t have my birth certificate?

      AvatarFinder
      AlisonJune 1, 2023Finder

      Hi, most banks will require two forms of ID with either a birth certificate, passport or driver’s licence. I’d suggest calling the bank you’re hoping to open an account with and checking what specific ID options will be sufficient to open an account.

    Default Gravatar
    alexMay 4, 2016

    is it the same process if I want to open an account in a company or group name, if it is different what is the correct process

      AvatarFinder
      ShirleyMay 5, 2016Finder

      Hi Alex,

      Thanks for your question.

      The process is somewhat similar, though the documentation required would be different.

      You’ll need to provide information about yourself and your business, provide your ACN or ABN, company name and business incorporation details.

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