There are a lot of changes in this world that are colossal pains when it comes time to make them happen. Moving house is at least a weekend’s worth of effort, changing your name takes a stack of paperwork, and even starting a new job can take an adjustment period.
But one thing that actually isn’t that tricky, is switching banks. It’s pretty straightforward, you just have to make sure you’ve got all the information — after that, it’s smooth sailing.
We’ve broken down the four steps to switching banks without incurring a headache.
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#1 Do your research
The first thing you’ve got to do is decide which bank you want to move to — or whether you want to move to a bank at all. Credit unions are another viable option, with companies like Credit Union Australia offering $0 monthly account fees if you choose to sign up for an Everyday Snap account with them (it takes less than five minutes).
It depends entirely on your circumstances, but in general you’ll want to find a bank or credit union that has minimal fees and a good reputation.
#2 Open the new account first
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t withdraw all your funds from one account without having somewhere to put them first. Depending on where you’ve opted to go, you might even be able to open an account online without having to even go into a branch.
Take out some cash from your original account, and open the new one as soon as you decide which one is right for you. Some companies will do the following steps for you, while others you may prefer to do manually. It can take literally less than five minutes for this part of the process.
#3 Transfer everything across
If your new bank or credit union doesn’t help you move banks automatically, you may have to transfer all your debits and credits across yourself. This means not only transferring all your actual cash, but also any recurrent payments that you might have (including rent or bills that come out of your account automatically).
To do so, just get a list of debits from your old bank, take it to the new one and request that they notify all the payees — they’ll be able to take care of it for you. Don’t forget to also notify your employer and super funds in order to make sure all the key players are in the know.
#4 Close the original account
At this point you’re in the clear, so you can go on and close down your old account. Bear in mind that some banks might have fees or costs associated with closure, so prepare yourself by researching properly.
After that? You’re sorted.