Moving to Australia? Here’s how to set up an Aussie bank account

lesbian couple excited that their aussie bank account got approved

If you’re looking to move Down Under chances are that you’ll need to open an Australian bank account.

Typically Australian banks don’t require much when opening a new account and most of the time you can do it online. However, if you’re overseas or don’t have an official Australian address it might be more difficult.

Take it from me as someone who immigrated to Australia and struggled to find the right bank.

Opening a bank account while overseas

black woman in a mustard sweater inside her house in front of a laptop

Believe it or not, you can open an Australian bank account while still living overseas. However, you’ll need to show proof of your visa, where you’re planning on living and your passport.

Some banks that allow you to do this are:

Keep in mind that these banks require you to arrive anywhere between 3-12 months after your application. So open the account close to your departure date and keep an eye on the currency exchange so you can transfer money on a good day.

If you’re not keen on banking with the Big Four, then opening a bank account becomes a bit more difficult.

When I arrived in Australia I was planning on opening an ING account but there was a massive roadblock of not having any official Australia ID or my name on anything with an Aussie address. I had no choice but to open an account with a Big Four since they accepted my American docs with no issue.

If you rather open a bank account while overseas that isn’t tied to a major bank, then you might consider something that gives you the option to have multiple currencies like a Wise Account.

Wise (formerly TransferWise) is an international money transfer provider that also offers a banking option. You could get its Wise Debit Card and use it to hold multiple currencies as you settle into your Australian life.

Keep in mind that the card takes about 7-14 days to be delivered so plan accordingly.

Opening a bank account in Australia

black woman with curly hair in an airport looking for a bank

If you’re in Australia, then one of the easiest ways to open an account is by popping into a local branch. 

Keep in mind that you need to show proof of residency i.e. valid visa (student, working holiday, partnership etc.), picture ID (ideally your passport), and provide an Australian address. Some banks might ask for two forms of IDs and a TFN. So be sure to double check the requirements before you go open your account.

Note: Americans opening an Australian bank account need to declare it in the FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) when filing US taxes annually. If you have less than the equivalent of 10,000 USD in the account, you might not need to file the FBAR. However, be sure to check with an accountant first, so you don’t run the risk of being fined.

Choosing a bank account

If you need help picking your next bank account check out the Mozo Expert Choice Award^ winners for banking to see are crowned as cream of the crop in our database. Alternatively, you can start comparing bank accounts below.

Bank account comparisons on Mozo - last updated 9 December 2023

Search promoted bank accounts below or do a full Mozo database search . Advertiser disclosure
  • AMP Cash Manager


    Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Samsung Pay

    0.60% p.a.

    Earn up to 4.80% p.a variable rate with AMP Cash Manager on balances from $10,001 to $250,000. Manage and access your funds while earning interest. No transaction fees to pay. Visa debit card, eftpos, and BPAY facilities. Digital wallet payments with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay.

  • Glide Account


    Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayID, Samsung Pay, FitBit Pay, Garmin

    0% p.a.

    Unlimited free internet transactions. Super fast transfers & use Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. No account keeping fees. Access Any Major Bank & MyState Bank ATM Fee-Free.

  • Wisdom Saver Account


    Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayID, Samsung Pay, FitBit, Garmin

    0.05% p.a.

    IMB’s Wisdom Saver Account is a high interest transaction account available to members 55 years or over, or members who receive an eligible permanent pension. Enjoy unlimited fee free IMB transactions (T&Cs apply). Great interest rates and at-call access to your money. No monthly account keeping fees. Access to real time payments through Osko. Free Internet, Mobile, and Phone Banking.

  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Everyday Options


    Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayID

    0.01% p.a.

    An easy, everyday banking account packed with flexible options to help you spend, budget & save better. $0 monthly account keeping fees & option to add up to 9 sub-accounts.

  • Spend Account


    Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayID, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay

    0% p.a.

    No monthly fees and no charges for overseas or online payments from ubank. Stay one step ahead with ubank’s spending insights and bill prediction. Apple Pay and Google Pay compatible. Deposits guaranteed up to $250K per customer.


^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Bank Account Awards

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.