You may have outgrown your childhood bank account, need to switch banks or just want to investigate which new options are available. Whatever your reason for wanting to change accounts, Savvy can help you compare different offers until you find one which suits your needs perfectly. Take a detailed look at how to change bank accounts and what features to look for here.
Step 1: Research
The first step you’ll need to take once you’ve decided to change your account is to research the options available to you. Think about the reasons why you feel you want to switch accounts and what additional functionality you’d like from your new bank account. Form a clear idea in your head about what you hope to achieve by switching and what it is exactly you’re looking for.
Step 2: Compare offers in the market
When you’re clear about what your future needs are, let Savvy help you narrow down your choice by comparing various bank accounts to see which one is the closest fit to your individual needs. Compare fees for different accounts and work out how they may be applied to you. For example, if you frequently withdraw cash, look for an account that has no ATM fees and allows you to use them across Australia at no charge. If it’s a savings account you’re after, compare interest rates to find one which offers the highest interest possible.
Step 3: Open your new account
Once you’ve found a new account which is a great match for your banking needs, you can open it. If you’re opening an account with a bank, building society or credit union which you haven’t used before, you’ll need to supply 100 points of ID. This could be your passport and driver’s licence, for example, or any other form of ID which includes a photo and your signature. Most financial institutions allow you to open an account online, a simple process which should only take around five minutes. Deposit sufficient funds into your new account to cover any automatic payments which you’ll set up for the following week.
Step 4: Transfer all your direct debits and auto payments
Next, compile a list of all the automatic payments you may have set up which come out of your account without you having to think about them. Depending on which bank you use, you may be able to access a list of all your direct debits and auto payments through your banking software. Use past bank statements from your old account to ensure you don’t forget any vital payments when you transfer your details. Don’t forget annual subscriptions like computer software or virus protection and make sure all your utility bills are covered too. Go online to each company you pay and change the account details for your direct debits and automatic renewals.
Step 5: Close your old account
Once you’ve updated your details with all your suppliers (and perhaps your employer), it’s worth waiting at least a month to ensure that you haven’t forgotten any subscriptions or payments. When you’re satisfied that you have successfully transferred your auto payments, go back online and transfer all the remaining funds from your old account to your new one – and then close your old account.
There are many reasons why people might want to change accounts. These may include:
For transaction accounts
For savings accounts:
Yes – you can have multiple transaction accounts if you wish, although the additional fees you may have to pay could make it expensive to do so. How many bank accounts you have is a personal decision, of course. Some people do like to separate different aspects of their life, such as having one joint everyday account with their partner or spouse, and another one which is a personal account.
Recent innovations in banking have produced new ways of managing your personal finances. For example, instead of having multiple transaction accounts, some online bank accounts now allow you to split your account into separate parts and allocate a portion of your income to each part. Other banks allow you to set up multiple sub-accounts under your main savings account. For example, you could have a sub-account called ‘holiday’, another called ‘new car’ and so on, allocating a portion of your savings to each goal so you can watch them turn into reality.