Getting started with Banking in Australia

The basics

Moving to a new country is a big step and brings with it the challenge of understanding a new banking system. The Australian banking system is heavily regulated and can be considered one of the safest. However, there may be some differences between the banking system in Australia and from your home country.

Trading hours

Our banking services can be accessed in branch, online, or by phone. Our branch opening times vary depending on location. However, our Queensland based Contact Centre is available 24/7 by calling 13 14 22. 

We also have a free and secure translation service via Speak Your Language, available by calling 13 14 22. 


  • Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • There are 100 cents in 1 dollar
  • Notes come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100
  • Coins come in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2
Keeping and accessing your money

It is common practice in Australia to keep your money in a secure bank account. A savings bank account is a safe option which:

  • Is more secure than cash and provides different access options
  • Gives you access to an eftpos card
  • Allows you to safely receive money from somebody else through online banking, a banking app, or going to a branch to make a deposit or transaction
  • You may have the ability to earn interest.

Different types of savings accounts suit different needs. Read How to choose the best savings account for more information.

You can access your money in a number of ways, including:

  •  A debit card, linked to your savings account
  •  A credit card
  •  Cash withdrawn via an ATM or in-branch.
Interest rates and paying interest in Australia

You may consider borrowing money from a bank to buy a home or a car via a loan. If you borrow money in Australia, interest is the amount you pay to borrow that money. 

Interest rates vary between banks and are based off the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cash rate. Rates can be fixed or variable. It is important you understand how much interest rates will cost you when applying for a loan or any kind of credit. 

When you see an advertised rate you may also see a comparison rate. A comparison rate includes the interest rate or weekly repayment amount, plus most fees and charges. It is important to look at the comparison rate when comparing loans.

Read Lending interest rates explained for more information.

Just as you will pay interest when you borrow money, you can also earn interest by saving money. 
Security and Fraud

Fraudulent activity does occur in Australia. It is important to be aware. We offer lots of information on security and scam awareness and tips. For more information, visit the Australian Government Scam Watch website.
Opening an Australian bank account

To open a personal bank account with Heritage you will need to be identified in-person, in one of our branches. You will need to provide certain identification documents when you open an account such as your passport, Australian driver’s license, and Medicare card.  Other types of identification Heritage can accept include an Australian Convention Travel Document or Immicard.

If you provide a foreign identification document, Heritage will need to confirm your visa through the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system. Those without Australian citizenship are able to open a bank account with Heritage.

The types of identification required can vary depending on your situation. It's best to ask your local branch what you need to bring before your appointment. Our Membership ID Requirements outlines the identification types we accept. 

More help

If you need help with your financial situation we're here for you.

Get in touch

OR call 13 14 22 to speak to our team available 24/7.