Basics of banking in Sydney



Expatriates who plan to open a current bank account in Sydney are expected to go through a 100 points identification check, where at least 100 points of identification in the form of different kinds of documents will need to be presented to open an account. 

The official currency used in Sydney and the rest of Australia is the Australian Dollar, which is abbreviated with the currency symbols of AUD or A$ or $. It is divided into 100 cents, and quantities are listed in 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar notes. Coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, along with 1 and 2 dollar coins.


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Opening an Account in Sydney 

The point system varies, as it depends on the banking establishment. However, common requirements include a valid proof of your current residential address and a bill for utilities in your name. Presenting a valid passport can give you up to 70 points, with additional points being given out if expats can present a driver’s license or credit card from their home country. It is not necessary to make an appointment with a banker for the application process, but it is best for expats to apply in person. 

Another requirement that expatriates will need to acquire is an Australian Tax File Number (TFN) which serves as a form of identification when it comes to applying for a job, lodging tax returns and opening a bank account. Expats can obtain their Australian Tax File Number (TFN) by applying online through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website. Expats who are unable to obtain their Australian Tax File Number (TFN) will find that a large amount of money (about 48%) will be deducted from their salary for tax purposes. 

There are some local and international banks that are present in Sydney for expats to open accounts in. The country’s leading banks include ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, National Australian Bank and Westpac Bank. Other international banks found in Sydney include HSBC, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase Bank and Barclays. All these banks allow expatriates full access to banking services including internet banking, mobile banking and ATM transactions. The usual banking hours in Sydney last from 9.30 a.m. to 4.00 or 4.30 p.m. on Mondays to Thursdays and last until 5 p.m. on Fridays. 

Bank Transfers in Sydney 

Expats who need to make bank transfer transactions in Sydney will find that both local and international banks do present bank transfer options to expats. Bank transfers in Sydney and the rest of Australia are done electronically, as internet banking does not come with any charges or fees compared to face-to-face transactions. Expats are advised to bear in mind that most banks in Sydney will charge for bank transfers even if the transfer is done with the same bank in different countries. Most bank transfers take 2 to 3 business days to process.

Debit and Credit Cards in Sydney 

After a bank account has been established, expats may avail of other services such as ATM card usage and begin the credit card application procedure. When applying for a credit card in Sydney, expats will be asked to present proof of identification such as a valid passport and proof of address. Additional information such as details of income earned, current assets and any liabilities will also be asked for. Aside from banks, credit unions can also issue credit card applications. 

Commonly accepted credit cards in Sydney include Visa and MasterCard, along with Amex and Diners. ATMs can be found throughout Sydney, especially in banks, pubs, petrol stations and clubs. Expats will need to take note that some ATMs charge a transaction fee.



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Basics of banking in Australia