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What Is a BSB Number?

Making a bank transfer in Australia? In addition to all the standard information like name, address, and account number, you’ll also need a BSB code. Otherwise, your money might not end up in the right account. What does BSB stand for? How do you find the right BSB number when you’re making a bank transfer? Get the inside track on BSB codes with our simple guide.

BSB meaning

A BSB is a six-digit number that’s used to identify the individual branch of an Australian bank or financial institution. In other words, BSB numbers are used to identify the recipient of a bank transfer.

So, what does BSB stand for? Simple – it stands for Bank State Branch. In this sense, they’re very similar to SWIFT codes. However, BSB numbers are intended for local transactions, rather than international transfers. So, if you’re transferring money to an Australian account from outside the country, you don’t need to use a BSB code, as the SWIFT code contains the same information.

What does a BSB code look like?

BSB numbers are relatively simple. They consist of three, distinct parts in the following format:

XXY-ZZZ

  • XX = The parent financial institution

  • Y = The state where the branch is located

  • ZZZ = The branch location

For example, the BSB code 033-547 breaks down as follows: 03 is a two-digit code for Westpac Banking Corporation, the third digit (3) identifies Victoria as the state where the bank is located, and 547 tells us that the specific branch is the WBC branch on 360 Collins Street.

How do I find a BSB number?

You can find BSB numbers in a couple of different ways. If you bank with an Australian financial institution, you should be able to find your bank’s BSB code by simply logging into your online banking account. Otherwise, banks usually put their BSB numbers on their website along with a branch locator, and you can also call the branch directly to double-check that you’re using the right BSB. For a full list of codes for Australian financial institutions, check out thebsbnumbers.com.

BSB and account numbers: Australia vs. New Zealand

It’s important to note that there’s a major difference between the way that Australia and New Zealand handles bank transfers. Put simply, New Zealand doesn’t use BSB numbers. Instead, they have 16-digit account numbers (XXXXXX YYYYYYY ZZZ) that are used to identify individual accounts. The first six digits is the bank code, which is used to identify both the bank and the individual branch. The next seven numbers are used to identify the individual account. Finally, the last three digits denote the account type, i.e. savings, business, checking, etc.

How to transfer money with a BSB number

Once you know the BSB number of your recipient – as well as their name, address, account number, and sort code – making a bank transfer is a simple process. Simply head into your local branch and speak to a teller, and they should be able to get the transfer started. Alternatively, you could handle the transfer online by logging into your online account making the transfer there. Of course, banks can charge significant fees for handling money transfers, which means that you may want to look at some alternative options. There are many specialist exchange services that can work out to be slightly cheaper than traditional bank transfers.

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