Changing Banks Made Easier

Since November 1st it has become easier to switch your business from one bank to another with the Australian Payments Clearing Association confirming financial institutions are able to supply customers' direct debit and credit arrangements.

Where as in the past switching bank accounts was especially difficult if you had several automatic transfers, deposits and payments set- up from that account. Things like bill payments, salary deposits, and automated transfers towards your mortgage or car payments would have made this process even harder.

The Federal Government has worked over the past 12 months on making it easier for consumers to switch banks if they are not happy with their current provider.

Three things to consider when switching bank accounts:
* Shop around and compare products online to find the one that is best for you.
Check to see how much transaction fees you are charged when making a withdrawal from an ATM or when you pay for an item with your card. There may be a limit on the number of transactions you can make each month and any additional usage will incur a fee.
Most major banks waive monthly account keeping fees and transactions fees for school and full time students. There are some savings to be had here, so notify your bank if you have taken on full-time study recently.

Most people use a bank account as an everyday account to receive wages, make transactions and pay bills, so it is definitely worthwhile to find out what your current interest rate is so you can find another that will give you more for your dollar.

Some accounts charge a minimum monthly fee, which covers the cost of all or a maximum number of transactions. Depending on usage and type of transactions this could save you many dollars each month.

* If you are not fully satisfied with the service or product from your current lender, take the time to discuss your options with them, with the aim of striking a better deal - so better service, higher interest rate and no monthly fees.
* Weigh up all of your options and see if you will save more and be better off in the long run by switching your transaction account to another institution.

Published on November 11-th, 2008 in Savings Accounts
Damon Rasheed is the CEO of Rate Detective, an Australian financial service comparison sites specialising in Life Insurance, Income Protection Insurance and home loans. Damon holds a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Melbourne and has been involved in many start-up internet businesses.

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