Open a 3-person joint bank account if you want multiple people to access the account.
Joint bank accounts are mostly used by two people, for example couples. However, you can also open a joint bank account with more than two people. For example, you can open a three-way joint account, a four-way joint account or have even more people than this. This guide will outline the benefits of opening a bank account with multiple people, and how to apply for one online.
Bank accounts that allow more than two account holders
How does a three-person joint bank account work?
A joint bank account is usually opened by two people, such as couples, to allow both people equal access to the account. A three-way joint account works in the same way: it's an everyday transaction account that allows three people to use the account. The account is held in three (or more) names. You can open a joint bank account with three people, four people, five people or even more than this.
Each account holder will have their own debit card linked to the account which will allow them to make purchases and withdraw cash at ATMs. Each account holder will also be able to access the account online via Internet banking or mobile banking, to transfer funds and keep an eye on transactions.
Here's a few reasons why you might want a joint account with more than two people
- You want to share a bank account with your roommates to pay for shares living expenses and rent
- You want a business bank account where multiple employees can make deposits and withdrawals
- You want a bank account that all your family members can access in case of an emergency
- You want a shared bank account with your friends to pay for an upcoming holiday
The need for more than two joint account holders most often arises in business situations, where partners, treasurers and other bookkeepers all need to be able to move money in and out of the account. In that case, you will either add them as signatories, or make them additional account holders. In the case of youth accounts, it is not uncommon to find both parents listed as account holders as well as the child. This ensures that in the event that one parent is absent, the account is still accessible.
How do I compare savings accounts that allow multiple joint holders?
If you want to open an account with two or more others, consider the following when comparing your options:
- Account keeping fees. Look for an account with low or no monthly account keeping fees.
- Transaction fees. With several people accessing the account, there may be a lot more transactions than with a single account. Make sure you're not charged any unnecessary transaction fees.
- ATM fees. Look for an account that offers fee-free ATM withdrawals, so you're not hit with a fee each time one of the account holders withdraws some cash.
- Easy online access. Make sure the account is easily accessible for everyone on the account, for example with an easy-to-use mobile banking app.
- Number of linked debit cards. If there's more than two people requesting a linked debit card, make sure you're not charged extra fees for the additional debit cards.
What are the pros and cons of having a joint account with multiple people?
- Easier money management. If you share a lot of expenses with a number of people, it can be easier if you all have access to the one bank account to manage these.
- More transparency. Because you can all access the account online it's easy to see who is transferring or withdrawing money, and for what.
- In the event of emergency. With more than two joint holders, there should always be a way to access the account even if one person were to become unavailable for any reason.
- Less security. With others having access to your funds, you put yourself at risk of others withdrawing your money without your consent.
- Management. With multiple individuals making deposits and withdrawals into your account you may find it difficult to keep track of the balance.
How to open a 3-way bank account
When you've selected an account from the table above, click "Go to site" to complete the online application process. Each account holder will need to verify their identity using their passport, driver's licence or Medicare card details. Each account holder will also need to provide their Australian residential address.Back to top