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Switching your account

Frequently asked questions

What is the account switching service?

It's a new service that makes it easier than ever to switch banks. From 1 July 2012, when you switch to the Commonwealth Bank we can get a list of regular payments made to or from your account, directly from your old financial institution. All you need to do is check the list, then update your new account details with the organisations you have payment arrangements with. Or you can simply ask us to take care of notifying your new account details to those organisations on your behalf.

How long will it take to get a transaction list from my old bank?

It can take up to 9 business days. The process work likes this:


Business days required

1. You fill in and sign the Switch of Regular Payments Arrangements form at your CBA branch.


2. We send your request to your old bank or credit union.


3. Your old bank or credit union sends us a list of your regular payments


4. We'll send the list to you to check.


What's on the list?

Your old bank or credit union will send us a list of the last 13 months of direct debit and credit payments. It may include:

  • All payments or transfers made during that period, even ones you've cancelled.
  • Periodical payments.

Here's an example:

What's a periodical payment?

A periodical payment is a recurring payment you've set up with your previous bank, such as your rent. When you switch to your new Commonwealth Bank account, you can make these payments by setting up a recurring scheduled transfer in NetBank, Australia's number 1 online bank.

Which transactions are covered by the switching service?

The switching service only applies to direct debit and credit arrangements. You need to set up Periodical Payments, Bpay®, and Pay Anyone transfers yourself, using NetBank.

If you have set up a payment arrangement using the card number and expiry date on your Debit MasterCard, Visa Debit card or a credit card, you'll need to contact the organisation directly.

What isn't on the list?

The 13-month list won't include:

  • Transactions made using a Debit MasterCard® or Visa® Debit card for example, purchases or direct debits set up using your card number and the card expiry date.
  • More than one instance of a recurring payment, unless each payment uses a different lodgement reference number. Otherwise, only the last payment is listed.
  • Payments made more than 13 months ago.
  • Payment arrangements you've made recently, but which haven't yet resulted in a transaction. For example, if you recently signed up for a mobile phone plan but the first payment hasn't been made yet, then that arrangement won't be on the list.
  • One-off or recurring payments made online with internet banking.

How do I get a list of my internet banking payees and BPAY Billers?

Log onto your old bank or credit union's internet banking service and print out a list of your payees and BPAY billers. In NetBank, you can find your list of payees in the account address book and BPAY beneficiaries in the biller address book.

I'd like you to help me switch! What should I do?

Once you have received your list of payments:

  1. Mark the list to show the transactions you'd like to switch and those you'd like to cancel.
  2. Complete and sign the Notice of Variation of Account Details form that we will send to you with the list.
  3. Return the marked list and your signed form to us.

How do I mark the list?

You can show the transactions you'd like to switch or cancel by:

  1. Ticking the most recent date of transactions you'd like to switch.
  2. Crossing out the most recent date of payments you'd like to cancel (if any).
  3. If the Lodgement Reference column shows a different number to the usual policy, billing, account, subscription or contract number on your bill, write in the relevant number above the lodgement reference on the list. If in doubt, check with the organisation who receives the payment.

We won't switch or cancel any unmarked transactions.

Here's an example:

How long will it take to switch my payments?

It depends on how you choose to update your banking details. You can either:

  • Update your banking details on the same day by contacting the organisations directly. You may be able to change your details online or over the phone. Have your contract or policy number handy when you call.
  • Instantly set up BPAY billers and other internet payees in NetBank.
  • Ask us to contact the organisations on the list and ask them to update their records. This process usually takes around 15 business days.

The regular payments should start coming into or out of your new account from the next payment date or billing cycle. However, this depends on the time it takes the payer or biller to update their records.

Why does it take 15 days?

To properly authorise the change, we need to follow a process agreed by payment regulators and the Australian government. It works like this:


Business days required

1. We receive your signed and completed Notice of Variation and marked list.


2. We send a request to the bank used by the organisation that bills or pays you.


3. That bank passes your request on to the organisation.


4. The organisation updates their records. The time it takes depends on that organisation's processes.

About 5

5. The organisation sends you a notice confirming that your details have been changed.


How will I know if my banking details have been updated?

The organisation that bills or pays you will confirm the updated account details in writing. It's also a good idea to check your new Commonwealth Bank account to see if the next payment has been made on time.
Alternatively, you can contact the payer or biller directly to check that they have your new details.

How do I make sure all my payments are covered until the switch is complete?

It would be a good idea to keep enough money in your old bank account to cover any payments until you're sure the switch is complete. That way, you won't get caught out and end up paying overdrawing or dishonour fees.

Will my account at my old bank or credit union be closed as part of the switching service?

No. You'll need to ask your old bank or credit union to do that for you.


Important information: MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. BPAY is a registered trademark of BPAY Pty Limited ABN 69 079 137 518. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124.