Transferring your Money to an Australian Bank Account (Electronic Funds Transfers)

Electronic Funds Transfer - Transferring Money to Australia

If you're going to be on a Working Holiday Visa or backpacking for extended periods in Australia, the largest part of your holiday funds will be paid into your Australian bank account.

If you want to transfer your money before you go, you will need to open an Australian bank account (read our useful Australian Bank Accounts Explained article).

Of course, you can open an account when you actually arrive in Australia, just remember that it takes upto 2 weeks (sometimes longer) for the transfer to complete.

Transferring your money to your Australian bank account before you go

If you've applied for your Australian bank account online and have the new account details ready to go, your funds can be paid in advance (preferably two or more weeks) to your Australian bank account before your arrival.

To make the transfer you will need all the details of your new Australian bank account. This means the full postal address of the Australian bank, your international business number (I.B.N, which should have been supplied) and of course the account numbers.

Sometimes the banks in Australia use an intermediary benefactor (another bank your money goes through before it reaches your Australian bank account) so you will need their full details as well. This can seem like a daunting task but it's really not that difficult, just make sure you've got all the details you need.

If you need help retrieving the benefactor details or anything else for the transfer, contact your Australian bank's customer service team by email ask them for all the information you need. Be sure to also ask them about the transaction charges, amount of time it takes and get them to send you confirmation when the transaction is complete.

When you have your Australian bank account/transfer details, take them into your local bank branch at home, give them to the cashier and have them transfer the money to your Australian account (always get a recipt).

Unfortunately with the banks being so aggressive with their charges these days you will be charged by both parties. You will have to see about the charges for your own country but the charge rates in Australia for a foreign transaction usually hover around the $25AUD mark.

Some banks allow you to pay for both charges when you make the transaction rather than having to deal with the Australian bank as well which is a small consolation.

Once the transfer is complete and you have arrived in Australia, go into the bank with your ID and speak to the clerk about activating your new account (learn about account activation and what ID you will need in the Opening an Australian Bank Account from Overseas - Australian Bank Accounts Explained article).

When you transfer your funds before you go, you will still need to visit the bank to 'activate' your account and pick up your new card when you arrive in Australia.

Account activation is simply visiting your new bank with some identification (passport, driving license) and a recent statement from your bank at home (read the Bank Documents for Backpacking Around Australia article for more).
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