Citibank Australia has revamped its Traveller Account, the world's first online bank account designed for working holiday visa holders coming to Australia.
The account enables travellers from around the world to set up and transfer money to an Australian bank account, before they leave home. This ensures travellers have access to their funds and are able to receive wages as soon as they land Down Under.
"The number one priority for those planning to work and travel in Australia is to have a local bank account. This is vital so that they can actually start working and to have a means of accessing their hard earned funds," said Todd Reichmann, Director of Citibanking Australia.
The Citibank Traveller Account gives travellers the advantage of having an account already set up and the convenience of access to money in the local currency before they arrive in Australia.
"With this account, travellers have a secure alternative to cash and traveller's cheques. The added benefit is that friends and family can also transfer funds into that account at any time," explained Mr Reichmann.
The account has a competitive fee structure designed to meet the needs of travellers.
"The Traveller Account provides 10 fee-free transactions per month and no account keeping fee (usually $5) is charged on monthly balances over AUD$2000. Plus there are free electronic statements and free cash and local currency cheque deposits," said Mr Reichmann.
For the 111,3761 working holiday visa holders from around the globe heading to Australia, this is welcome news.
"A Citibank Traveller Account holder could essentially save travellers AUD $60 a year (thanks to the $5/month account keeping fee being waived). Sixty dollars could buy you another round of drinks at the pub, a gourmet picnic in a national park, a dolphin watching cruise, or tickets to the zoo - and is much better spent toward your holiday than on bank fees."
According to data released by Tourism Australia in 2005, the average working holiday traveller spent AUD$7,958 on their Aussie trip, with food, drink and accommodation the highest expenditure items. In total, they stayed 8 million nights, with an average stay of 107 nights. Working holiday makers spent more than $490 million during their time in Australia.
Australian shores are proving increasingly popular for overseas visitors. According to the Australian Department of Immigration3, in 2004-5 there was a 1.73% increase of working holiday visa holders over 2003-4 (109,485 arrivals) and a 9.58% over 2002-3 (101,640 arrivals).
In 2004-5, the main nationalities granted working holiday visas were the United Kingdom (30,092), Republic of Korea (17,706), Ireland (12,585), Germany(10,646), Japan (9,975), Canada (6,656) and France (4,550).
Overall, more and more working holiday visas are being issued for visitors to Australia. "This is certainly a market with many opportunities and it is exciting to be able to offer a product designed especially for this audience and their needs," said Mr Reichmann.