Bank account news and advice

All the latest bank account news and top tips to help you manage your bank account.

  • Banks 'are starting to offer rewards on transaction accounts'

    Monday 12 November 2012

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    Competition in the Australian banking sector is intense and companies are offering more incentives to attract new customers. According to Bankwest retail chief executive Vittoria Shortt, the firm is now linking rewards programmes to standard transaction accounts – something that has become common in other countries but has not yet been seen down under. She told National Features that customers are rewarded for both spending and saving, although people need to make a minimum deposit of $2,000 into their bank accounts each month. "There are a lot of customers who like rewards points and they've never been available on transaction accounts. We saw there was a gap," Ms Shortt was quoted as saying. Banks constantly have to evolve in order to retain their customers and Westpac chiefs revealed last week the demand for mobile banking services is soaring. It is safe to predict lenders that fail to offer the latest banking technology – as well as rewards schemes – will quickly fall behind their rivals. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

  • Mobile banking uptake is gathering speed, Westpac says

    Friday 09 November 2012

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    The rapid emergence of smartphones and tablets has led to a sharp increase in the number of people accessing their bank accounts on the move. According to Westpac representatives, 3.4 million people have embraced online banking services, with half of this number using their handsets to complete financial transactions. A number of recent studies have suggested that Aussies are very quick to utilise new technology and many now see the use of mobile banking applications as the norm. Westpac retail and business banking group executive Jason Yetton believes mobile will overtake online banking by 2018. "We estimate that the number of payments made across our digital platforms over the next five years will top one billion transactions, with total value in excess of six trillion dollars," he remarked. Mr Yetton also indicated that social media is playing an increasingly important role in the financial sector, as sites such as Twitter and Facebook allow banks to interact with customers far more freely.

  • Aussies 'love a flutter on the Melbourne Cup'

    Friday 02 November 2012

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    The rising cost of living has forced many Aussies to take extra care over their spending in recent years, but that frugality generally goes out of the window on Melbourne Cup day. A study conducted by Roy Morgan Research has indicated that 6.33 million people from across the country will watch Australia's showpiece horse race on November 6th, with 41 per cent of this number likely to place a bet. With online gambling growing in popularity, a lot of Aussies will allow their bank accounts to take a hit for one day in the hope that they will back a winner. The research showed that more than one in three punters know how much they can afford to spend on gambling, while 11 per cent usually place a bet on the spur of the moment. Roy Morgan's general manager of media and communications George Pesutto said that while most people see gambling as a good way to improve their finances, others simply have a flutter for the sheer thrill of it, especially on Melbourne Cup day. Last year, the meeting generated an incredible $746.1 million towards the Australian economy. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

  • CBA rolls out sophisticated ATMs

    Monday 29 October 2012

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    Aussies will soon reap the benefits of a new wave of sophisticated ATMs being rolled out by Commonwealth Bank (CBA). The organisation has already upgraded 1,260 of its cash dispensers across the country and there are plans to refresh 3,500 in total. Some of the cashpoints will allow people to deposit money or cheques 24 hours a day and the funds will appear in their bank accounts in real time. This will make it far easier for Aussies to stay in control of their finances, as they will have up to date information on the state of their account balance. A number of recent studies have shown that cutting-edge banking technology is really catching on down under and people are keen to see new initiatives such as fingerprint scanning replacing PIN codes. Therefore, it is fair to predict that CBA's new ATMs will be a hit. "We're also introducing a range of features, to ensure that our customers can have a more personalised ATM experience," commented the firm's executive general manager of retail products and customers Michael Cant. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

  • Make sure you are ready before opening joint bank accounts

    Monday 08 October 2012

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    It may seem like a good idea at the time, but all too often couples who set up joint bank accounts end up regretting the decision. Figures recently compiled by Roy Morgan Research showed that more people are establishing a combined account across Australia, with 22 per cent of survey respondents not having access to any other finances at all. A further 19 per cent said they keep their own personal account open while also pouring funds into a shared pot, National Features reports. However, some relationships inevitably fall on rocky times and this causes all sorts of problems when attempting to keep a firm grip on your finances. Executive director at ING Direct – which recently won a number of accolades at the Mozo People's Choice Awards – Brett Morgan believes people need to put more thought into the consequences of opening a joint account before they take the plunge. "One in five people don't want joint accounts because they are worried how their partner is going to use the money, or they can't control their spending," he was quoted as saying.

  • ATMs 'are still the most popular way to access bank accounts'

    Friday 05 October 2012

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    ATM machines remain the most popular channel of banking in Australia, although the growth of the internet is starting to change things. A new study conducted by Roy Morgan Research has found that 77.1 per cent of the population still like to access their bank accounts via a hole in the wall machine. However, the organisation also found that online banking is now being used more frequently, with 47.5 per cent of the nation using the web to make payments and check their statements. What was most striking about the research was the fact that just 45.6 per cent of people now visit their branch in person – an indisputable sign that banking is evolving. Phone banking – which was very popular around ten years ago – is now only used by 17.8 per cent of the country and is in a noticeable decline. Chief executive officer at Roy Morgan Research Michele Levine said online banking has been growing for the past 14 years at the expense of branch visits. "Just one of the implications of this change for banks and their customers is that the lack of personal interaction may possibly lead to a weakening of the traditional relationships and loyalty, resulting in reduced barriers to mobility," she remarked. Ms Levine added that the huge demand for smartphones is also shaping the way people manage their finances. She suggested that with smartphone penetration standing at 46 per cent, apps and mobile internet services are being developed to enable Aussies to access their accounts on the move. It seems that – as a nation – we are certainly keen to embrace new technological advancements. A study conducted earlier this week by ANZ found that 88 per cent of 18-34-year-olds now prefer to access their money digitally. The research also indicated that 79 per cent of the population would be happy to see PIN numbers replaced by fingerprint recognition systems and a further 67 per cent felt that the introduction of retina scanners would also be a good thing. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

  • People 'are still itching to switch'

    Wednesday 03 October 2012

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    Australia's major banks have improved their customer satisfaction ratings over the past year – but this has not been enough to stop people from switching to different providers. According to the results of Mozo's People's Choice Awards, one in five Aussies who hold bank accounts with one of the nation's most prominent lenders are looking for a change. Many customers had become disillusioned with the country's big banks and there were a number of reasons for this. Some people felt that their bank was failing to pass on interest rate reductions sanctioned by the Reserve Bank of Australia, even though most institutions were posting bumper profits. A lot of business banking customers were also concerned about a perceived lack of support from their lender. However, the new survey – which covered 25,000 customer reviews on the Mozo site in the past 12 months – has indicated that the banks are steadily turning things around. Indeed, the "big four" banks recorded an overall satisfaction score of 7.13 out of ten – a 0.26 per cent improvement on 2011. Commonwealth Bank had come in for a lot of criticism last year, but it has since recovered and is now Australia's second most popular institution, with a rating of 7.18. That said, the big four are still lagging way behind mutuals in the customer satisfaction stakes. Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank was voted Australia's Best Bank with an impressive score of 9.01. Overall, mutuals posted a record-high score of 8.37. Just ten per cent of the mutual bank customers surveyed said they were looking to switch to a new provider. Mozo managing director Rohan Gamble believes that interest rates are "make-or-break" for customer satisfaction. "Now the market overall is more competitive and responding to price pressure from the online players, customers are sending a message to the online banks that they need to up their game again," he remarked. Thanks to the government's "tick and flick" legislation – which makes it easier for people to switch bank accounts – the power is now firmly in Aussies' hands and it will be interesting to see how many households change their financial services provider in the near future. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

  • Power companies urged to pass on savings

    Tuesday 02 October 2012

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    South Australia premier Jay Weatherill has urged power companies to ease the strain on their customers' finances. The Essential Services Commission of South Australia has called for a $160-a-year cut on the energy bills of one-quarter of the state's households and businesses from next year, the Australian Associated Press reports. This would be a godsend for many struggling Aussies who are finding it hard to keep their bank accounts in the black. However, there are concerns that some suppliers may not pass the savings on to their customers and Mr Weatherill has urged them to do the right thing. "It's something they can do; it's something they should do and it's something that I demand of them," he was quoted as saying. Power prices are a major drain on people's finances and it seems that plenty of Aussies are taking matters into their own hands by installing solar panels. The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently suggested that more than 600,000 households had embraced solar energy by the end of 2011 – up from just 118 in 2001. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

  • Loyal Aussies are throwing cash away

    Monday 01 October 2012

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    Loyalty is an increasingly rare quality that should be celebrated, but in some cases staying faithful to a particular brand can cost people dearly. According to new research undertaken by the Sunday Mail, Aussies are keen to buy groceries that have been grown or produced in the country, but this is proving to be very costly. The price of homegrown goods is generally higher than imported products and people are paying up to $60 more than necessary when purchasing Australian food. Although this will ultimately benefit the economy and create jobs for Aussie workers, remaining loyal is doing nothing to ease the strain on people's bank accounts. Households are constantly looking for ways to save money during these austere times and many Aussies may wish to reassess their shopping habits That said, AgForce spokeswoman Stacey Milner believes Australian groceries are definitely worth the extra money. "Labour costs are a major factor in Australian prices, but the products are generally superior when it comes to freshness and food safety," she was quoted as saying. Have a question about bank accounts? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

  • Banking customers 'increasingly turning to social media'

    Tuesday 18 September 2012

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    An increasing number of Aussies are communicating with their bank via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Adding further weight to claims that we are fast becoming a digital society, bosses at the Commonwealth Bank have suggested that customers are looking for immediate responses and information via the internet, News Limited reports. With more than 955 million active users at the end of June 2012, it is easy to see why Facebook has become such a powerful tool for lenders to use. CBA has more than 225,000 'likes' on its Facebook page and people who hold bank accounts with the firm are leaving messages when they encounter problems. The company's digital and social marketing general manager Andrew Murrell told the news provider that the organisation would monitor social networking sites 24 hours a day by the end of the year. "As the scale of the followers are growing particularly on Facebook we have worked with our direct banking to have customer service available like you do from the telephone," he remarked.