BANKS, CREDIT CARDS & EFTPOS
OK well the Aussie Dollar is different to the notes we have in UK. To start with it is made of plastic which, means you can take it for a dip in the sea with you.
The other thing is that the smallest coin they have is the 5 cent piece. Yes its true if you are paying in cash they will round to the nearest 5c.
Another useful piece of information is that the Aussie two dollar coin looks the same as the UK pound coin.
Notes $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.
Coins 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, $1 and $2.
All Aussie Dollar transactions paid in cash transactions are rounded to the nearest 5 cents, electronic & cheque transactions are not rounded.
GOODS AND SALES TAX
The Goods and Sales Tax (GST) is the same as VAT in the UK only it is charged at 10%. When you are out shopping you will find that the price displayed (the gross price) includes the GST.
It is very unusual for GST to be added at the cash register although you will find that your reciept generally shows the net price with GST added as part of the final cost Net Price + GST = Gross Price).
AUTOMATIC TELLER MACHINES
Don't get confused but what we refer to as "the hole in the wall" in the UK is better known as the ATM here in Australia.
Almost all ATM's will accept cards on the worldwide Maestro or Cirrus systems, so there should be no problem withdrawing cash unless you have a lack of funds in your account.
(Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale)
This system is the same as switch but you don't sign anything, you key in your pin number for your cheque or savings account .You only sign if you use a credit account. The PIN is issued with the card and is also used for ATM transactions. EFTPOS is common throughout Australia .
Most major credit cards can be used at the EFTPOS facilities the difference with credit card transactions is that you have to sign a receipt rather than enter a PIN.
Credit cards are accepted as a form of payment for most forms of purchase with Visa and MasterCard being the most commonly accepted.
I was surprised to learn you can even use your Credit Card for paying all your household bills, electric, water, insurance the lot..
I use my credit card to pay for almost everything (food, fuel, household bills, direct debit payments etc...). I find it a great way to pay for things especially as I get to collect reward points as I go along. It means I get top treat myself from time to time.
If you use your credit card to pay for all your regular bills, it is important that you get in the habit of paying of your balance in full each time you get a statement. If you don't then you could end up with a huge debt.
You may find that a few outlets will charge you a small fee to use your credit card. That said I have found most outlets let you use your card like cash.
Just remember as long as you don't let your self run up a huge bill its an easy way to pay for everything.
To open a bank account, identification is required. Identification types are based on a points system, with different scores for different types of identification.
The bank requires 100 "points" which is attainable using primary identification passport, driving license, citizen certificate and secondary identification credit card, household bill, identity card etc....
Australian Bank Accounts differ in that they are classified into Cheque, Savings & Credit.
When purchasing by bank card you will be asked to select the account the card is for and to enter a pin number rather. You can still sign for credit card transaction but using a in number is becoming more common now.
All of the banks charge account fees. These are for the usual accounting & transaction costs so it is worth checking what you will get charged for before you set up your account..