Australia is closer than ever to being a cashless society, and thanks to the advanced state of smartphone use in this nation, means you don’t have to look far to connect phone and funds together. Keen to pay for that coffee or brunch without taking a wallet out? It's not hard, and provided you have the right bank account, you can access your money on the go without reaching for the plastic.
Simply grab your phone or wearable, and let the right bank account do the work. We'll take you through the best accounts suited for different devices, and make it easier than ever to let your gadget hand your money over securely.
Know your platform
Before looking at the banks you can join up with, it's best to know what sort of options are available to you. Depending on the phone or wearable you have in your life, this can vary wildly.
If you're using an iPhone or Apple Watch, you're looking for bank accounts that support Apple Pay, Apple's approach to tap solutions that only works with Apple's devices. Android users with NFC on their phone can use Google Pay, and if they have a Samsung Galaxy S or Note (or wearable), they also get Samsung Pay.
Samsung Pay joined the ranks of many other similarly-named services when it launched in Australia last month, but it's not your only option. From Optus's cashless payment accessories to your bank's own specialised service, here are all the mobile payment services available now in Australia.
Finally, there are two other wearable platforms, with Garmin Pay working for Garmin's compatible watches and bands, while Fitbit Pay works with those made by Fitbit.
ING Orange Everyday – Compare now
One of the more popular transaction accounts, ING's Orange Everyday offers mobile banking options for both Apple Pay and Google Pay, making it pretty easy to set up a phone bought in the last three years with tap and go.
ING also attracts because of its mostly-fee-free approach to banking, with no international transaction fees if you deposit $1000 into the account each month and make five or more purchases. The monthly fees are also equally low, hitting zero bucks per month.
When you do deposit money into their Savings Maximiser, you'll find up to a 2.80 per cent variable rate, which is one of the highest on an account this versatile.
Macquarie Transaction Account – Compare now
Macquarie offers a great little account for banking in Australia that seems to garner the accolades, and comes with support for both Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as some pretty friendly options for travellers.
There are no overseas transaction fees with the Macquarie Debit Mastercard connection for the account, and transactions are processed using the Mastercard FX rate, so chances are the exchange rate won't be stalled behind a company keen to milk you for every dollar you have.
You'll also find no ATM charges and no monthly account fees, with a "welcome" interest rate of 2.65% per annum for the first four months on their savings account.
ANZ Access Advantage – Compare now
Whether you have an iPhone, an Android, a Samsung, Garmin, or Fitbit, ANZ is one of the only banks in the country that works with every platform in the country. That means you can have an iPhone, an Android, or a wearable and still pay digitally with ANZ's Access Advantage account.
Other features for the account include ANZ's Falcon for suspicious transaction monitoring and fraudulent transaction guarantees, though you will be hit with fees paying for goods overseas and in a foreign currency, as well as a monthly bank account fee if you don't throw in $2,000 to start with.
NAB Classic Banking – Compare now
Much like ANZ's account, NAB offers a solution that covers the vast majority of payment platforms, omitting only Apple Pay for the iPhone.
Instead, NAB's Visa card can work with Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, and offers a solution for iPhone owners in the form of the NAB PayTag, a stick-on accessory that adds a special contactless payment add-on to your iPhone. We'd probably attach it to the case, but you can always stick it to the phone if you want.
As for the bank account itself, NAB offers no monthly fees though it will charge for overseas transactions, so make sure to look through the terms and conditions before signing up.
A digital-only bank connected to Bendigo Bank, Up lives in the cloud and on an app in your phone. Even the process for joining the app is handled via app, which means you need either an iPhone or an Android to join up.
Up prides itself on being Australia's first purely digital bank, which means it will add itself to your phone as a payment option pretty quickly. You still get a card, but it means there's a fairly quick way of getting Apple Pay on an iPhone if that's all you’re after.
The Up account comes with no monthly charges and no international purchase fees, though international ATM fees apply to enquiries and withdrawals.
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