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What to look for in a bank account

27 February 2018
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School’s done and you’re about to start the next chapter of your life – uni! Along with the extra freedom of student life comes the added responsibility of managing your money more effectively. It can be a real challenge juggling the day-to-day expenses of uni life with just the income from a part-time job, let alone saving for something big. Whether you’re a visiting international student or a local, a good bank account can play a huge role in helping you manage your money better and make the most of your uni experience. So what should you look for?

Low or no fees

Obviously, the fewer fees you have to pay, the more you can put towards the important things in life, like rent, going out, saving for a car or travelling overseas. So check to see what monthly account keeping fees are charged and if there are any transaction fees for using your account. Look for an account with no monthly fees and unlimited fee-free transactions, like the GSB Everyday Snap Account. Also check to see that your bank has, or is part of, an extensive national network of ATMs. Some ATMs will charge up to $5 just to withdraw cash!

Greater access

Life can get pretty busy as a student, so having easy 24/7 access to your money is crucial. Make sure your student bank account comes with a Visa Debit Card and other options that let you withdraw cash, transfer money or shop in more places, like online, in stores and on the go. Easy-to-use online and mobile banking services should be a priority, while being able to chat banking with someone when it suits you can also be really helpful, especially if you need a hand with your account. An Australian first, the iM CUA app allows you to message the personal banker of your choice from anywhere.

New ways to shop

With the days of using cash and plastic to pay for things slowly coming to an end, mobile payment services, such as Tap and Pay with your phone are becoming more and more popular. Using Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay to make purchases on your phone or compatible wearable device, like a smart watch, is not only convenient and secure, it means you can shop without your wallet. Check to see if your bank account offers access to the digital payment option you need for your phone.

Faster, easier ways to transfer money

New Payments Platform (NPP) is another cool innovation in banking that’s worth having access to. NPP makes transferring and receiving money faster and simpler. It means you can receive money in under a minute if both institutions offer the service. And splitting the bill after dinner or a movie is easier too with PayID. Instead of providing your bank account details, you can register a PayID using your mobile number or email address which are much easier to remember. Then, when someone owes you money, you simply tell them your PayID (mobile number or email address) to get paid.

Help with your savings

The reality is that very few transaction accounts offer competitive interest rates, but you can access some good rates via linked savings accounts. Some accounts even offer bonus interest on linked savings accounts when you deposit a certain amount each month into your student transaction account. Earning interest is a great way to keep your savings moving in the right direction, and bring you closer to achieving your savings goals. Another clever way to help you save is using a savings top-up feature. It means you’re saving while you’re spending!

When it comes to choosing a smart student bank account while you’re at university, it’s important to consider factors like fees and charges, access to ATMs, convenience and how it can help you save. The GSB Everyday Snap Account offers all these features and more. Plus, you can open a student bank account online in under five minutes.

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