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Bank deposits cheat sheet

Person putting money into a piggy bank.

Found the perfect bank account to store your money? Then now’s a good time to understand all the tips and tricks to efficiently manage the moolah coming in and going out of your account.  

From setting up direct deposits for your salary, registering for online banking and scheduling automatic payments of your household bills so you never miss a deadline, this guide will take you through the ins and outs of bank deposits.      

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How long does it take for a bank deposit to reflect in the account balance?

Back in the day, making a bank deposit required you to personally visit your local branch and deposit funds into the account over the counter. Now you have a number of other options such as depositing money at an ATM or making online transfers. Here’s a quick look at how soon the money can be accessed depending on how you make the bank deposit:   

At the bank / post office 

You can easily deposit cash as well as cheques into your bank account by going to the nearest bank branch or post office. While cash deposits into your account should reflect in the available balance immediately, if you’re depositing a cheque it may take 2-5 business days to clear before you can access the funds.

At an ATM 

Many major Australian banks these days allow you to deposit money into your account 24/7 through an ATM. You can deposit both cash as well as cheques into an ATM. Generally, cash deposits take 1-2 business days to clear, whereas cheque deposits may take between 5 and 7 working days. If your bank is working with Smart ATMs then cash deposits can be available instantly, whereas cheque deposits will clear in the same time as in-branch deposits.  

Online transfers 

You can easily deposit or transfer money using online banking services. Making online transfers is the fastest way to deposit money into any account. While transfers to and from the same financial institution are instant, if you’re sending money to a different bank or lender, it could take 1-2 business days for the funds to show up in the deposited account.  

Tips for depositing cash or cheques at an ATM

If you receive cheques on a regular basis or have cash payments you need to deposit, it’s likely that an ATM will be the most efficient way to deposit funds into your account. Many banks charge for over-the-counter deposits, so using an ATM will not only be a more convenient option but also a cheaper one. There are a couple of things you’ll need to keep in mind when making a bank deposit via the ATM though:

  • Make sure the notes are not torn or faded so that they are accepted by the machine
  • ATMs only accept Australian dollars and won't accept unrecognised foreign currency
  • Generally ATMs don’t accept coins
  • ATMs will only accept domestic bank cheques
  • Make sure you’ve removed any foreign objects such as envelopes or paper clips, before inserting the cash or cheques into the ATM slot
  • Once you’re done, don’t forget to keep a receipt for your records

Setting up online deposits

One of the easiest and fastest ways to make bank deposits across different accounts and pay bills is via online banking. Once you’ve opened a bank account, registering for internet banking is a very simple and quick process. Some banks let you sign up online while some may require you to call the customer care to create a login id and password.

Many financial providers also have mobile banking apps so you can process instant money transfers using your smartphone.  Beyond the realm of banks, there are an increasing number of independent finance management and budgeting apps you can also explore. Check out some of Mozo's favourite banking apps.

Some of the useful ways to manage your money using online banking are:

Salary deposit. You can get your salary credited to your account directly so there’s no need for you to go to a bank and deposit the funds yourself. Plus, many bank accounts waive ATM and account keeping fees when your salary is deposited directly. 

Plan automatic debits. Keeping a track of all the household bills can be tedious. To make sure you don’t miss out on due dates, you can set up regular bill and rent payments using direct debits or BPAY. Read more about how to make digital deposits in our detailed guide on online accounts.

Make your credit card repayments. One of the most convenient ways to make sure you don’t exceed the interest free period of your credit card is to set up automatic online repayments.  

Transfer money between accounts. Whether you want to transfer money between your everyday bank and savings account or you want to pay a friend, it’s very easy to electronically deposit funds from one account to another online or through a mobile banking app.

Olivia Gee
Olivia Gee
Money writer

As a personal finance writer at Mozo, Olivia investigates insurance, banking and property. After completing a double degree in journalism and media and communications, Olivia became a lifestyle editor at Time Out Sydney and freelanced for notable publications such as Guardian Australia and SBS News. Now she is Mozo’s resident car insurance enthusiast, and is certified (ASIC RG146 Tier 2) to provide general advice in general insurance. She also creates audible finance adventures as co-host of Mozo’s podcast, The Finance Burrito.

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