online-banking

Compare Everyday and Savings Accounts from a Range of Online Banks

Online banking is here to stay, but can you afford to do away with without branch banking completely?

Most mainstream banks and financial institutions give their customers access to online banking platforms, but there are some institutions that limit their offerings to the online world. Online banks provide their services and products through the World Wide Web, which you can access using an Internet enabled computer or smartphone. In the online world, you can bank as and when you like and there are no queues to worry about.

Rates last updated September 21st, 2017
$
$
months
Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
Bankwest Hero Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.60% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $250,000.
2.60% 0.01% 2.59% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
ME Online Savings Account
Ongoing, variable 2.95% p.a. rate when you link to a ME Everyday Transaction account and make a weekly purchase with your Debit Mastercard using tap & go. Available on balances up to $250,000.
2.95% 1.30% 1.65% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
HSBC Serious Saver
Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.60% p.a. Available on balances below $1,000,000.
3.00% 1.60% 1.40% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
Citibank Online Saver
Introductory rate of 2.85% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.70% p.a. Available on balances below $500,000.
2.85% 1.70% 1.15% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
Westpac eSaver
Introductory rate of 2.51% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 1.00% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
2.51% 1.00% 1.51% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
Rates last updated September 21st, 2017
$
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
UBank USaver Ultra
No monthly account keeping fees and earn bonus interest when you deposit $200 or more monthly.
Visa $0 $0 Enjoy no monthly account keeping fees with the USaver Ultra transaction account. More
RAMS Action account
A RAMS everyday transaction account where you can manage your account online.
Visa $0 $0 Free transactions when using the RAMS ATM alliance. Also, get free EFTPOS, online and direct debit transactions. More
ME EveryDay Transaction Account
Free access to any ATM in Australia.
Get your ATM fee refunded within 30 days with $0 monthly fees.
Mastercard $0 $0 No fees when using any ATM in Australia – you'll get a refund within 30 days for any fees you pay for an ATM. More

How does an online bank work?

An online bank is one that does not have any branches. Since this leads to a considerable reduction in overhead costs, and so these banks tend to offer competitive interest rates and keep fees to a minimum. An online bank works like a conventional bank and offers similar products and services, which means you can turn to an online bank to open an everyday or savings account. You can also open an online term deposit, home loan and even a self managed superannuation fund (SMSF).

Online banks give their customers round-the-clock access to account related information via Internet banking, and you can transact online and over the phone.

Back to top

How do I compare online banks?

If you’re comparing online banks to pick one that works best for you, pay attention to the following:

  • The range of products and services they offer. This aspect is important if you wish to deal with a single institution for all your banking related needs. Know that some online banks offer products and services you’d typically associate with conventional banks. Some such banks provide a range of offerings such as home loans, everyday transaction accounts, term deposits and SMSF accounts. Some offer business banking solutions as well.
  • The level of security incorporated into their online systems. Many people cite security as a concern for staying away from online banking, but do you know that even mainstream banks store your information in data centres that are not really hacker-proof? For that added peace of mind, you can always choose an online bank that protects individual deposits of up to $250,000 through the Government Financial Claims Scheme.
  • The extensiveness of it's ATM network. If you plan to use an account linked debit card to access your funds, paying attention to this aspect is important. Consider this - the ING DIRECT Orange Everyday account comes with a Visa debit card that you can use at any ATM in Australia for free, provided you deposit at least $1,000 in your account each month. If you get a debit card through UBank, you can get free access to all NAB and rediATMs across Australia.
  • The quality of it's customer service. If you’re someone who prefers interacting with a human face when faced with a problem, branch banking might be best for you. If not, you can still expect good customer service from online banks. Some online banks have 24/7 Australian based call centres, some let you chat online and you can always get in touch with your bank via email and regular mail.
Back to top

What are the pros and cons of using an online financial institution?

Pros

  • Making deposits and withdrawals 24/7. Online banks can give you access to money in your account via a debit card as well as online banking and phone banking, and some also let you transact via BPAY and at Bank@Post outlets. You can mail in physical cheques, and your bank can also let you take a picture of a cheque and upload it for deposit.
  • Competitive interest rates compared to big banks. Online banks tend to offer more competitive interest rates when compared to traditional banks, mainly because of their lower operational costs.
  • Less fees compared to big banks. Online banks tend to have lower minimum balance requirements when compared to conventional banks, and you may not have to pay any ongoing account keeping fees. Online banks are also more likely to provide fee-free everyday accounts.

Cons

  • No branches. This is a drawback for people who wish to bank in person. However, this may change in the future, with online banks trying to create some kind of a physical presence. For example, ING DIRECT has a customer information centre in Sydney that operates Monday to Friday.
Back to top

Traditional bank versus online bank

When choosing between the two, a lot boils down to personal preferences. If you’ve shared a personal relationship with your banker over a prolonged time, and this makes you privy to special rates and offers, continuing with your existing banking relationship might make sense. In most cases, people are getting used to the technological changes in this realm, and even people who deal with conventional banks are turning to online and mobile banking platforms.

The main reason behind the popularity of online banks has to be the fact that they offer cheaper banking solutions. Not to fall behind conventional banks, they’re also trying to provide top notch customer service. However, the online world offers limited options as of now, and if you're looking for a credit card, a personal loan or a car loan chances are you'll have to get in touch with a conventional bank.

Frequently asked questions

Find out if it adheres to the Australian Bankers Association’s Code of Banking Practice, and check if the Government Financial Claims Scheme protects your deposits.

If you have easy access to the required information, you can submit an account opening application in minutes.

You’ll have to provide your name, contact details and details from an acceptable identification document like your driver’s license or passport.

Shirley Liu

Shirley is finder.com.au's publisher for banking and investments. She has completed a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Savings Account Offers

Learn about our information service
ME Online Savings Account

Maximum Variable Rate

2.95

Standard Variable Rate

1.30
Citibank Online Saver

Maximum Variable Rate

2.85

Standard Variable Rate

1.70
Bankwest Hero Saver

Maximum Variable Rate

2.60

Standard Variable Rate

0.01

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question
feedback