A guide to switching business bank accounts in Australia

6 minutes
Business tipsFinance
A guide to switching business bank accounts in Australia
In this article

How to switch business bank accounts in Australia

You’ve put time, sweat and (maybe a few) tears into building your business over the years. But it just dawned on you that your business bank account might not be working in your favour.

Choosing the right financial services provider is critical for cash flow management, keeping track of business expenses and simplifying tax reporting obligations. Not to mention getting the services you need to establish and grow a credible business.

So whether you’re looking for a business bank account with more transparent pricing, faster payments, or a user-friendly experience, we outline five key steps to make the switch and close your old account. (We guarantee it’s a lot easier than you might think.)

Is switching business bank accounts worth it?

In this day and age…Absolutely.

Up to 90% of businesses are dissatisfied with their current business banking provider.

This is because most traditional business bank accounts emerged before today's technological advancements.

The big banks typically inflict an unnecessary drain on costs. And businesses end up bearing the brunt of their outdated bank branches and operating costs, transaction fees, limits on company cards, and forced double conversions on international payments.

But most small and medium-sized businesses don’t have the luxury of paying for wasteful overheads and clunky software.

Thankfully, non-bank financial service providers enable businesses of all sizes to quickly and cheaply send and receive money — anywhere in the world.

Here are some of the benefits you can expect from a modern business account offered by financial technology providers, like Airwallex:

Simplify global business dealings

In the globalised world, small businesses (and businesses of all sizes) need to make sure their choice of financial services provider can support them when dealing with customers, employees, contractors and suppliers overseas. 

Unfortunately, many traditional business bank account providers make this more difficult than it has to be. Switching banks that allow you to easily open domestic and foreign currency accounts and use borderless cards can save your finance department hours of admin.

Maintain your profit margin

Traditional banks often subject your business to mandatory double conversion rates for overseas transactions, as well as extremely high and sneakily-undercover foreign exchange (FX) rates.

Switching banks to a more transparent provider with their pricing could increase your business’s profit margin and take your business where it needs to go.

Enjoy a better user experience

You’re likely using your business bank account, especially your transaction account, every single day to make regular payments and generally monitor your business finances.

How good would it be to replace traditional banking and fragmented solutions with an end-to-end business account designed for every one of your needs? Think easy setup, deposits, payments and corporate cards (all in one, anywhere in the world).

How easy is it to switch business bank accounts?

Switching business bank accounts has never been easier than it is today. Modern providers often won’t even need you to come to a branch. Instead, you can do it all from the comfort of your home or office.

These days, it only takes a few minutes to streamline your finances and add 3% back to your bottom line.

What are the steps to change my business bank account?

1. Prioritise your business’ needs

Think carefully about your list of wants and things that are deal-breakers.

For example, your wants may be:

  • Easy-to-use accounting software

  • Account switch services

  • Rebates on other popular online business tools

And your deal-breakers may be:

  • Fee and rate transparency

  • Multi-currency business accounts for global transactions

  • Inclusion of business credit cards

There’s no better time than now to consider the future of your business.

Ask yourself: Can your existing financial services provider support your business through future growth and advancement with their products and services?

2. Apply for a business bank account

Once you’ve chosen the right business bank account for your organisation, you’ll be able to apply online.

Many traditional banks will run several lengthy identity checks before you open an account, involving hours of admin on your end. It’s also common for you to go in-branch to meet with them. It’s no wonder it takes up to five days for your account to be up and running. 

However, new business bank account technologies can have you set up with a multi-currency account in minutes, meaning you can start transferring money internationally and managing your finances within a matter of hours. 

Standard pieces of identification required when setting up a business bank account include:

  • Proof of identity, such as a picture of your passport or driving licence. 

  • Proof of address, such as a bill or bank statement (if you’re a sole trader or freelancer).

  • Certificate of incorporation, memorandum and articles of association (if you’re a limited company).

3. Transfer direct debits and other payments across

The next step is to go through your business bank account statements from the last 12 months to identify your direct debits and business payments. 12 months is the recommended length of time as this will ensure you’re covering every debit, including annual payments and subscriptions.

Then, you’ll need to engage with each payee to transfer your regular payments over to your new business bank account. Be sure to have both your bank account number and the account number you may hold with the provider on-hand to make it a smooth process. 

4. Update your collections process

You’ll need to let your clients know with plenty of warning that they need to start paying their fees into your new business bank account. Go ahead and update the account details on your invoices. But it’s also a good idea to send a courtesy email letting them know about your new collections process. Try to send this email at least one pay cycle before your old bank accounts close to avoid confusion. 

5. Close your old accounts

Now, you’re ready to close your old accounts. Make sure your finance team is aware of the change, so you don’t miss any payments or incur late charges. 

What bank is best for a business bank account?

These days, your best option for business banking isn’t necessarily a traditional bank account. Compelling alternatives are freeing modern businesses from the shackles of bank queues, paperwork and legacy technology.

The most important thing is to look for financial products and services that enable you to:

  • Save on everyday business transfers with low-cost, high-speed payments.

  • Gain instant visibility over your business spending.

  • Give you access to competitive FX rates, no matter the transaction amount.

  • Enable teams with company cards, set spending limits and monitor transactions in real-time.

  • Automatically sync transactions to Xero.

Modernise your business finances

Be gone with slow, expensive business banking and sign up for a free Airwallex account instead.

Break boundaries and accelerate into new markets, gain instant visibility over your business spending, avoid the bottleneck, and only pay a fixed 0.3% or 0.6% margin above our interbank foreign exchange rates.

How can we offer so many features for free? Unlike the big banks, we’ve designed our organisation and tech without wasteful overheads – because it’s better for business. 

So set yourself up with an agile business account for the global economy. Open up an Airwallex business account within minutes.

Put Airwallex to the test. Try us for free.

Get started for free

Related article: The best business bank accounts for Australian businesses

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