Bank Accounts Frequently Asked Questions
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How can I close a Commonwealth Bank account?
How can I check my bank account balance online?
Checking your bank account balance online is a simple process. Once you’ve logged in to your online banking, clock on the relevant account and the balance should be visible.
How can I wire money to a bank account?
You can wire money to an Australian bank account either through your own bank or by using a money transfer company such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Either way, you’ll need the other person’s name, BSB number and account number. If you use a money transfer company, you might also need to provide the recipient’s address for large payments.
How do I open a new bank account?
There are a number of ways to open a new bank account – online, over the phone or in the branch. The trick is to decide what type of bank account you want beforehand.
It might sound like a simple enough task, but there are literally hundreds of bank accounts to choose from. And each offer their own banking features and benefits.
A comparison site like RateCity can help you work out what bank account product matches your needs.
Once you’ve made up your mind what you want, it’s advisable to have the following information ready for the application process.
- A couple of forms of identification (such as driver’s licence, Medicare card, passport)
- Tax file number
- Residential address, contact phone number and email (though email is not essential)
Can the government take your money from your bank account?
There are some instances when the government can take money from your bank account. This generally occurs in situations where you have an outstanding government debt.
Before it can take money from your bank account, the government authority owed money would first need to issue a garnishee notice.
A garnishee notice is issued by the government agency (such as Centrelink or the ATO) to a third party that holds money for you or owes you money.
To take money from your bank account, your bank would be issued with the garnishee notice requiring it to pay ‘your money’ to the requesting agency to satisfy the debt.
Do you need a bank account to sell on eBay?
You don’t need a bank account to sell on eBay. But if you don’t have a bank account, you must provide either a credit card or debit card.
Are bank accounts frozen when someone dies?
Yes, Australian bank accounts are frozen when someone dies. If you want to close the account of somebody who has died, you might have to provide proof of death and a copy of the will. You might also have to prove your relationship to the deceased person.
If you have a joint bank account with somebody who has died, you will generally be entitled to all the money in the account. Again, you might have to provide proof of death if you want to change the bank account from a joint account to a one-person account.
Can you deposit money into somebody else's bank account?
One of the easiest banking tasks in the world is depositing money. You can even deposit money into someone else’s bank account if you wish.
The basic information you need to deposit money into a third-party bank account is:
- Payee’s name
- Bank, building society or credit union (though this isn’t necessary)
- BSB (or bank code, which is the branch identifier)
- Account number
Including the name of the financial institution isn’t necessary – particularly with online banking – because the BSB will identify this for you.
A handy tip is to record yourself (or add a personal message) in the transaction description or reference. This will show up on the recipients account, letting them know who’s paid them the money.
Can I link a bank account to Paypal?
Paypal is a safe and convenient way to pay online without the need to share your financial details. You can send and receive money or accept credit and debit cards as a seller using Paypal.
It’s easy to link your bank account to a Paypal account and start making transactions within minutes.
To start, you first need a Paypal account (it’s free to join). When setting up your Paypal account, you will be prompted to link a credit card or bank account (or both if you wish).
PayPal works without a balance; you can use Paypal to shop or send money when your balance is zero.
When your Paypal balance is zero, Paypal will ask you to choose your preferred payment method at the checkout.
This could be either your linked bank account or credit card. Your bank details can be updated if you change banks or credit cards.
How to transfer money to another bank account
Transferring money to another bank is often called a bank transfer, and it can be done a few different ways.
Customers generally need three pieces of information to transfer money to another bank account. Customers need the account name, BSB and account number of the account they wish to transfer money to.
One way of transferring money to another bank account is in a branch with the help of a staff member; they will often give you a receipt as well as confirmation of the transfer.
Transfers can be also made via internet banking and phone banking.
Some banks also allow customers to make transfers via partnered ATMs, especially if the account is with the same bank.
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