Changing banks is considered to be too hard and too large an effort for most people to do. However, swapping over to a new bank that better suits your lifestyle can see you be financially better off in the future.
New research by Finder has found that around 40 per cent of Australians stay with the same bank they signed up with as a child. Of the three out of five Australians who do switch banks, 67 per cent found a better deal
So, how do you go about switching banks? Just follow these three easy steps.
1. Research banks and set up an account that suits you
You can do almost all bank research from the comfort of your own home by thoroughly checking out what the bank offers via their website. Another way to research which banks charge what fees, rates and interest is by using a comparison website.
Check if the bank and account you are setting up charges monthly fees, account fees, ATM withdrawal fees or foreign transaction fees, as well as making sure your money is accessible every way you want it to be, be that online, by phone or in a branch.
You’ll need 100 points of ID to open an account, so make sure you have a passport, drivers licence, birth certificate and Medicare card available.
2. Transfer any payments that are made into or out of your account
Once you have opened a new account it’s important that you thoroughly go through your direct debit list to make sur any payments have been changed to withdraw from your new banks. You also need to make sure that your salary is now paid into your new account.
Check that you have updated your workplace, welfare and pension payments details, and shares to ensure all your credits arrive in the right account. Then check that direct payments such as rent, tv and music streaming services, childcare, subscription services, mortgage payments, utility payments, insurance, etc are all moved to withdraw from the correct account.
You can ask your new bank to follow up with your old bank to get a list of all credits and debits for the past 12 months for you to compare
3. Close your old account
Make sure you completely close your account at your old bank, transfer over any savings to your new bank, and all fees and owing money will need to paid to the old bank before they close the account. Some banks may require you to go into branch to close the account, or some can simply do it over the phone.
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