How to open a bank account with Westpac. The requirements, account types and fees.

Roberto Efflandrin

If you’re looking to open a bank account in Australia, Westpac is one of the major banks you can choose from.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to open a bank account with Westpac Bank. We’ll cover account types, the documents you’ll need and any costs you need to know about. Plus, how to open a Westpac account from abroad — which could be handy if you’re an expat who’s not yet arrived in Australia.

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Types of Westpac bank accounts

Westpac Bank offers a wide range of consumer bank accounts, from everyday transaction accounts to student, savings and joint accounts. Here are the ones to consider.

Westpac Choice

An everyday bank account with a debit card. This account is also available for students, with no account-keeping fee if you’re under 21 or a full-time student¹. You can manage your money through online banking or the Westpac app.

New to Australia — a Westpac Choice everyday account for expats

Westpac also offers a special version of its popular Choice everyday bank account for newly arrived expats. Designed for people who’ve arrived in Australia in the last 12 months, it waives the account-keeping fees for 12 months⁸.

The process for opening the Westpac Choice account for those moving to Australia can be started online, even before you arrive. However, you won’t be able to withdraw funds until you’ve completed an in-person identity check at a Westpac branch in Australia.

At the time of writing, applications for this Westpac Choice account type are suspended due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Westpac Life

A savings account for regular savers. This account offers a choice of ways to earn interest, including a great introductory interest rate or bonus interest each month you grow your savings².

Westpac Choice joint transaction account + Westpac Life joint savings account

A bundle of everyday and savings joint accounts, to help you manage your money together³. You can transfer money between accounts, be rewarded with bonus interest and get a debit Mastercard each.

How do you open these account types?

Let’s take a quick look at the process for opening each of the most popular account types with Westpac bank.

open westpac bank account

How to open a Choice everyday account

Provided you have an Australian residential address⁴, you can apply for the Westpac Choice everyday account online. Westpac says it should only take around 3 minutes⁵ to complete your application. Follow these steps⁴:

  1. Head to the Westpac website and click ‘Open now’ to start your application
  2. Follow the online application process, providing all requested personal details
  3. Verify your ID online⁵ (we’ll cover the ID documents you’ll need in just a moment) You may also need your mobile phone to complete the verification process.
  4. Submit your application.

How to open a Life savings account with Westpac

To open a Westpac Life savings account, you must first open a WestPac everyday account by following the steps above. Alternatively, you can open both accounts at the same time⁶. The two accounts are linked, so you can transfer money between them.

You can open your Westpac Life savings account online in as little as 3 minutes⁵, and can verify your identity online in the same way as above.

If you prefer, you can also start the process of opening your savings account by calling 1300 558 724 or visiting a local Westpac branch in Australia⁷.

How to open a Choice joint transaction account + Life joint savings account with Westpac

You can open this package of joint accounts with Westpac using the quick online application process outlined above. However, to get your account up and running, both account holders will need to visit a branch in person to get your ID verified³.

What do I need to open an account? Requirements, documents and what to know

If you’re ready to open a Westpac bank account, here’s what you need to know.

Which documents do I need to open an account?

For most Westpac accounts, you’ll need the following documents ready for ID verification¹⁰:

  • One form of photo ID — such as an Australian or foreign passport, driver’s licence or national identity card
  • If you don’t have a photo ID, you’ll need to provide a non-photographic ID document such as a birth certificate or citizenship certificate PLUS a secondary ID document such as an official tax notice, paper driving licence or utilities bill.

Cost, running fees that come with the account

Fees Westpac Choice Account⁹ Wise
Account monthly fee $5 AUD (waived for students and for monthly deposits over $2,000 AUD) Free to hold up to $23,000 AUD per month. 0.00437% daily holding fee for any amount over $23,000 AUD¹⁴
International transfer fees $20 AUD fixed fee¹³, bank’s own conversion rate and potential intermediary/recipient bank fees. 0.45% variable fee + the mid-market exchange rate you see on Google.(e.g. for a transfer of $1,000 AUD to GBP, the fee charged is $5.14 AUD)No intermediary bank fees. You can make your fee calculation here.
ATM withdrawals Free within Australia or at Westpac global ATMs — $5 AUD for international withdrawals at non-Westpac ATMs You can take out money for free twice a month — as long as the total amount is under $350 AUD. After that, there is a $1.50 AUD per transaction fixed fee. If you take out over $350 AUD in one month, there is a 1.75% on the amount exceeding that. See card fees here.

*Information last checked on 11th October, 2021

Do I need to deposit money to open a Westpac Bank account?

There’s no minimum deposit required to open a Westpac everyday bank account, but remember that the $5 account-keeping fee is waived if you can deposit at least $2,000 a month¹¹.

Do I need to go to a bank branch, can I open a Westpac account online or from abroad?

If you have an Australian residential address, you should be able to complete your application for your Westpac bank account online. The exception to this is for joint accounts, where both applicants will need to visit a branch in person to verify their identity.

Expats and new arrivals can start the application process online, but you will need to visit a Westpac branch once you arrive in Australia to verify your ID. Only then will you be able to withdraw funds.

You can find out more by contacting Westpac Bank here.

  • Call 132 032 from anywhere in Australia for telephone banking help
  • Call 1300 655 505 for mobile and online banking help
  • From overseas, call (+61 2) 9155 7700
  • You can also contact customer services through the Westpac App¹².

Alternatives to Westpac

Westpac isn’t the only big player in town when it comes to bank accounts. You may also want to take a look at other major banks including ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank.

Check Wise out

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If you’re an expat, this could be a great money-saving option for sending money to and from your Australian bank account before the big move.

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Sources used for this article:

  1. Westpac choice account. Under 21 or student account
  2. Westpac Savings accounts
  3. Joint account information
  4. Getting started with your account
  5. Questions asked about the accounts
  6. Westpac Life savings account needs an everyday account
  7. Open Life savings account in person or on the phone
  8. Moving to Australia account package
  9. Westpac fee prices on page 42
  10. Identification checklist for individual customers
  11. Westpac choice account
  12. Westapac Contact page
  13. Westpac international transfer fees
  14. Wise holding large amounts fees

Sources checked: 11 October 2021.

Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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