You could save money in fees and
Putting your money into a bank account doesn't mean you can
forget about it. It's your money so you should make sure it is
being looked after in the way you want.
There are lots of different bank accounts so make sure the one
you have is right for you. If it's not, think about switching. You
could save money in fees and charges.
Types of accounts
Here are different types of bank accounts available and what you
should check before you sign up for one:
Using your account
These webpages explain how you can use your account in different
ways and how this affects the fees you pay:
Online and mobile phone
Banking online or from your mobile phone or tablet is a
convenient way to access your bank account if you want to pay
bills, check your account balance or transfer funds. Here are some
things you should consider before using this service.
Compare BPAY fees
Many stores and businesses allow you to make payments online
through your bank. This is called BPAY. Banks may charge you a fee
for each bill you pay using BPAY. Find out from your bank how much
this is per bill, and then compare it with other bank accounts to
make sure you get the best deal. You usually can't get a chargeback if you made a BPAY payment. A
chargeback is when a transaction can be reversed in some cases
where the merchant or shop does not provide you with the goods you
Check the BSB
If you transfer money to other people or companies through
online or mobile banking, you should double check that the BSB
number (which stands for Bank State Branch) and account numbers are
correct. To check the BSB you can use the Australian Payments
Clearing Association's Search BSB tool. If you do use the
wrong BSB or account number see mistaken
transactions for more information on how to get your money
Only use secure networks
To prevent fraud and identity theft when using online or mobile
banking, never use public computers or free wireless hotspots. When
you access your bank accounts make sure you completely log out.
Always check your credit card and bank statements for unauthorised or
Secure your phone
Some mobile banking services offer to text you account updates.
If your phone is lost or stolen someone can easily access your
account information by reading your messages.
You can secure your phone by:
- Treating it like a wallet and keeping it with you at all
- Using a PIN or password to lock it
- Deleting account updates as soon as you receive them
- Not saving passwords on your phone
Any message you receive from a bank that asks you to click on a
link is most likely a scam. Always type in your bank's website
yourself rather than following links. Find out more about phishing
See more tips on protecting your identity and how to
Government guarantee on
The Australian Government has guaranteed deposits up to $250,000
in Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) such as your bank,
building society or credit union. This means that this
money is guaranteed if anything happens to the ADI.
The cap applies per person and per ADI. So if you have $250,000
with one ADI and $250,000 with another, then both of your deposits
are guaranteed. If you have more than $250,000 with one ADI then
only up to $250,000 is guaranteed.
Some ADIs operate multiple brands or may offer deposit accounts
under more than one brand name. However, they are still part of the
same ADI. The guarantee covers deposits per ADI, not per brand
name. For example, if you have multiple deposit accounts with
brands that are owned by the same ADI, the guarantee will only
apply to $250,000 of these funds in total. If this concerns you,
make sure you know who the ADI is that you bank with.
In the case of joint accounts, each account holder is entitled
to an individual guarantee up to $250,000.
The guarantee applies to all ADIs incorporated in Australia,
including Australian-owned banks, foreign subsidiary banks,
building societies and credit unions. To check which banks are
covered by the guarantee see the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority's list
The types of accounts covered by the guarantee are: savings
accounts; call accounts; term deposits; current accounts; cheque
accounts; debit card accounts; transaction accounts; personal basic
accounts; cash management accounts; farm management deposits;
pensioner deeming accounts; mortgage offset accounts, either 100
per cent or partial offset that are separate deposit accounts;
trustee accounts; and retirement savings accounts.
For more details see APRA's Financial Claims Scheme website.
If you see this seal on letters or brochures
relating to your account, you'll know that your account is covered
by the guarantee.
This is an example only - you may see it in other colours. Your
financial institution does not have to use or display the seal. If
it chooses not to display it, that doesn't mean your account is not
See the ASIC website for the rules on how the seal can be used.
If you are not sure whether your account is guaranteed, ask your
What you can expect from
The Code of Banking Practice and the Mutual Banking Code of
Practice set out the standards you can expect when dealing with a
bank, credit union and building society, including rules about:
- Fees and charges and other terms and conditions
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Account statements
- Direct debits
- Chargebacks on credit cards
- Debt collection
- Complaints handling
- Lost or stolen cards
For more information about these codes and to download copies,
visit the codes of conduct webpage on the ASIC
Make a complaint about your
If you are having problems with your bank here's information on
If you have entered into a bank account contract after 1 July
2010 and it is found to be unfair, the Australian Consumer Law
protects you. To find out more see ASIC's webpage on the Australian consumer law - unfair contract
Last updated: 31 Mar 2017