Australia has a range of choices when it comes to managing your money, from banks that cover the whole country to local credit unions and building societies.  Here are some quick tips on setting up your bank accounts.

  • You can set up a bank account before or after you arrive. 
  • To open an account, you will need to have your Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE), passport, Letter of Offer and other forms of identification
  • You may also need an Australian Tax File Number (TFN). You can find information about getting a TFN at the Australian Tax Office
  • Financial or student support officers at your university or college will be able to give you information on how to set up a bank account. 
  • You can also read advice from the Australian Government’s Money-smart

Australian currency

The basic unit of Australian currency is the dollar (AUD). There are 100 cents in one dollar ($1).  Australian dollar notes come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins are issued in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2.

Prices are rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cents in shops and supermarkets. For example, you would pay $1.95 for an item priced $1.97, but $2 for an item priced $1.99.

Accessing your money

You can withdraw your money at automatic teller machines (ATMs) which can be found all over Australia. It is generally free to withdraw money from an ATM that is associated with your financial provider.  Be aware that if you use another provider’s ATM they will usually charge you a fee. The ATM will advise you of the fee at the point of withdrawal.

Even if you haven’t set up a bank account before you get here, most ATMs recognise international cards, so you will be able to use your credit or debit card from your home country. Just remember that there are fees associated with withdrawing money from your home account including transaction fees and the currency exchange rate. These vary by provider so check with your home financial provider before you arrive in Australia.

Moving money overseas or to Australia

Australian banks offer various services for moving money to and from Australia. For all these services, fees and charges will apply. These can be found on financial provider websites. 

You can have funds electronically transferred into your Australian bank account from overseas banks. To send money to another country you will need to provide the banking details of the person you wish to send money to. Your financial provider will then electronically transfer the funds from your account to their account.

Banking ombudsman

The Australian Banking and Financial Services Ombudsman assists individuals and small businesses to resolve complaints concerning all financial services provided by banks. For example, there may be an instance where you see that money has been withdrawn from your bank account without your consent. In this case, it may be necessary to talk to the banking ombudsman to resolve the issue. Free interpreter services are available. For more information on the banking ombudsman visit: or call 1300 780 808.