How to open a new personal bank account online
Open a new personal bank account online in 5 easy steps.
Who need bank queues? It only takes about 10 minutes to securely open a bank account online. All you need to provide is some basic information about yourself as well as an approved form of ID and your tax file number (TFN). Here's how to find the right bank account for you and open it online in 5 simple steps.
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Open an account online using the table below
What are the steps to open a bank account online?
Follow these steps to open a bank account online.
Step 1: Compare accounts to find the right one
Shop around to find the best bank account. Find the right account and order products by standout features such as the monthly service fee or ATM fees by clicking the arrows in the table headings. You can compare accounts by the card type, the ATM withdrawal fee and the minimum monthly deposit required for the monthly fee waiver.
These are the main features of a bank account; however, there are additional fees which may apply, you can find this information listed on our bank account review pages. You can also go directly to the bank account provider’s website and the secure online application from the comparison table if you’re ready to apply.
Step 2: Apply for your account online
Click ‘Open’ and a new window will open directing you to the account provider’s website and a secure online application. You’re required to provide some basic information about yourself such as your name, date of birth and residential address, driver’s licence number and tax file number (TFN) if you have it. Make sure you have this information on hand before you start the application as the application can time out and close if you leave your computer unattended for a period of time.
After you complete an online application for a bank account, you’ll get an email from the account provider with information about what happens next. This email should come within a minute or two after you submit the application to the bank. You may need to verify your identity before you’re granted full approval, or else you’ll get a welcome pack in the mail shortly after.
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 over the internet depending on the identification documents you can provide. Some banks require that you verify your identity in person. If you’re already a customer of the bank, you won’t need to complete this step.
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.
Step 4: Your debit card arrives
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. 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.
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.
To apply online for a personal bank account or savings account you must:
- Be an Australian resident with an Australian residential address
- Be at least 18 years old (for most banks)
- Be able to provide 100 points of ID to complete the bank's customer identification process or be an existing customer of that bank
- Use the bank account for personal purposes only
Before you apply
The whole process shouldn't take more than 10 minutes online. If you're at least 18 years old, you can apply for most accounts online. You'll be provided with a checklist of things you should have with you before you apply. This will make the process go a lot faster. Having your Tax File Number (TFN) handy is a good idea. If you're an existing customer of the bank, make sure you have your relevant customer ID number.
If you're a new customer to the bank, you'll need to visit a branch after you've opened the account with 100 points of ID. The 100 Points of ID is a legal requirement in Australia.
If you're currently a US citizen or tax resident and intend to open a bank account in Australia, you'll be asked to provide your Tax Identification Number (TIN) or social security number.
Applying for a joint account
Most accounts in Australia allow for joint applications with one other person. If you require more than one persons, a business bank account may be suitable instead. You can also add the third person as a signatory on the personal account, but this means he or she won't be liable for the account.
Why do you need to verify my ID?
The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006 and Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) was introduced by the Australian Government to detect financial crime and tax evasion. As a result, before you become a signatory to a personal or business account, you'll need to have your ID verified.
Private companies and incorporated bodies can nominate a officer who can certify signatories to any accounts opened by company. Although the company must be identified, certified signatories do not require further identification.
Isolated-area Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, as well as recent arrivals in Australia, have special provisions. It may be best to visit your nearest branch or phone the bank instead.
What are the benefits to 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.
- The application forms are easy to use. Comparison websites like finder.com.au give you all the information you need to make an informed decision and provide step by step instructions on how to apply for a bank account online.
- 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.
Make sure you’ve considered the following when you open a bank account online.
- There are little to no fees. Is the account a fee free account? Is there a minimum amount you must deposit every month to qualify for a fee waiver. Find out whether there are any fees for accessing your money from an ATM and in-branch.
- It's easy to switch. Does the financial institutions make it easy to switch your direct debits to your new account.
- There is internet banking available. Does the bank account provider also offer a first rate internet banking experience. The more online services your bank account provider offers the less chance you need to visit a bank branch.
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