The four major banks in Australia are ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac. There are many other local and international banks, and you should make a choice based on your banking needs. Consider things such as fees, ATM locations and the services offered. Most banks waive account fees for students.
If you will be using a bank card issued by a bank from your home country, keep in mind that fees are usually charged each time you withdraw money from an ATM or use your credit card.
Student Financial Aid has information about budgeting and managing your finances.
Tax File Number (TFN)
A Tax File Number reduces the tax rate you need to pay, and is required if you plan to work in Australia and for lodging tax returns. International students who are enrolled in a course that is longer than 6 months are considered residents for tax purposes.
Organisations such as banks, financial institutions and employers are entitled to ask for your TFN. For more information about TFNs and to apply, go to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.
See: basic tax guide (Student Financial Aid)
EFTPOS is a common way to pay for items in Australia. It refers to using your ATM card to pay instead of cash. Funds will be taken directly from your savings or cheque account, or charged to your credit card. This reduces the need to carry a large amount of money, but remember that there is usually a daily withdrawal limit.
You can also withdraw money (known as a cash-out) when paying by EFTPOS, but some stores and places may not offer this.
Check with your bank if fees apply for using EFTPOS.
Credit cards can be useful for paying for expensive things such as electrical items or furniture, and is good to have for emergencies. With credit cards, try to pay the balance off before the monthly cut-off date so you don't get charged the interest.
Most Australian banks will give you access to internet banking. It is a good way to keep track of your money, pay off credit cards, and will offer you a wider range of payment methods such as direct payments to other bank accounts (commonly known as "pay anyone") or BPAY (usually for utility bills and rent).