Should You Have a Joint Bank Account?

Should You Have a Joint Bank Account?

In today’s interconnected world, sharing financial responsibilities among spouses, business partners, or close family members is a norm. Joint bank accounts often emerge as the most efficient and practical solution for managing shared finances. But what precisely constitutes a joint bank account, and how does one establish it?

This guide delves into joint banking in Australia, providing insights into opening and effectively managing such accounts.

What is a joint bank account?

A joint bank account is a type of bank account owned by two or more people. The account is used for shared expenses and can be managed by any of the account holders. This means that each person has equal access to the account, and can make deposits and withdrawals as needed. In Australia, joint bank accounts are commonly used by couples, families, and business partners.

Why open a joint bank account?

There are several reasons why someone might choose to open a joint bank account.

A joint bank account makes it easier to manage shared expenses, such as bills, rent, or groceries. With a joint bank account, each person can deposit money into the account and access the funds as needed, without the need for transfers or separate accounts.

A joint bank account is a convenient solution for managing shared finances. It allows multiple people to access the same account, which can be helpful if one person is unavailable or unable to manage the account on their own.

A joint bank account can provide a measure of security, especially if one person is unable to manage their finances due to illness or disability. With a joint bank account, the other account holder can step in and manage the account, ensuring that bills are paid and other expenses are covered.

However, while joint bank accounts can provide security in certain situations, they also require a high level of trust and transparency to avoid misunderstandings or misuse of funds.

Some banks may require for the account to be “either to sign” or “both to sign”. “Either to sign” means the account holders will have their own debit cards and can monitor the transaction history individually. “Both to sign” denotes that for withdrawing the funds in the account, both parties must concurrently approve the transaction for it to proceed.

Opening your joint bank account

Opening a joint bank account in Australia is relatively straightforward, but it’s important to follow the right steps to ensure that the account is set up properly. Here’s what you need to know:

Pick your bank

To initiate the process of opening a joint bank account, start by selecting a bank that aligns with your needs. Evaluate aspects such as interest rates, fees, and customer service to make an informed decision.

Gather necessary information

To open a joint bank account, you’ll need to provide each account holder’s personal information, including their full name, date of birth, and address. Additionally, you might be required to furnish proof of identity, such as a driver’s license or passport.

Decide on account type

Most banks offer several types of joint bank accounts, including standard joint bank accounts, joint bank accounts with survivorship, and joint bank accounts with right of survivorship. Consider your needs and the type of account that best suits your situation. Take note that if you were actually intending to convert any individual accounts you currently maintain, many banks do not allow that option and may advise you to open a joint bank account instead.

Complete the application

Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary information, complete the joint bank account application and submit it to the bank. The bank will assess your application and may request further information or documentation before granting approval for the account.

Fund the account

Once your joint bank account has been approved, you can begin funding the account. You can deposit money into the account using a variety of methods, including direct deposit, automatic transfers, or personal cheques.

Managing a Joint Bank Account

Managing a joint bank account requires careful planning and communication between the account holders. Here are a few tips to help you manage your joint bank account successfully:

Communicate regularly

Consistent communication is essential for effectively managing a joint bank account. Make sure your partner is informed if you intend to withdraw from the account or to supplant it with new funds. 

Share the load

Both account holders must be equal partners in managing the balance.

Define the purpose

In establishing your joint bank account, both you and your partner should have a clearly defined rationale for running it, based on any long-term financial goals you want to achieve. Are you opening it to save for a house deposit? Buying a new car? Saving for your child’s college fund? The possibilities are endless.  

A finance app such as 2 Ezi can be a vital asset in running your account. Through the app’s budget management section you only need to enter the account number and be kept abreast all the time about its running balance, and its projected savings over a predefined period of time. It may be vital that your co-holder has the same level of access, so you can both plan your next moves. 

If you are in a long-term relationship, opening a joint bank account may be one key to making things work. We at 2 Ezi are confident you can go this distance together.

DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to supersede official financial advice. 2 Ezi is not affiliated with any bank. Consult with a financial advisor for personalised advice tailored to your circumstances.

Scroll to Top