BSB Number: Your Complete Guide
If you're making an international payment to Australia you'll need a BSB number. This stands for Bank State Branch number, and is a code used for domestic payments within Australia - as well as incoming international payments - to make sure your money goes to the right place. If you're not sure what a BSB should look like - or where to find the right one for your transfer, we have you covered. Read this guide for all you need to know, plus a quick look at TransferWise - the international transfer service which could save you time and money, with low cost international payments made using the mid-market exchange rate.
What is a BSB number?
A BSB number is used to help guide domestic payments within Australia to the right bank accounts. It points the processing bank to the correct bank, state and branch for the account required. You might notice that the function is similar to that of the SWIFT/BIC codes used in some international payments.
If you're sending a payment into Australia, you might be asked to provide a BSB number for the account. This can then be double checked against the other details you provide to make sure everything matches up. Your BSB can also be used to create an IBAN - international bank account number. While IBANs aren't used in Australia, some international banks will require one to allow a cross border payment to be processed. In this case, some banks suggest that you can create the IBAN for your Australian account, using your BSB plus your account number.
It's helpful to know that some banks have a single BSB for all accounts, while others have a different code assigned to each branch. If you hold an account in Australia, and are expecting an international payment, you'll need to check what information is needed by the sending bank, as well as your own bank's requirements as the recipient. This information can usually be found online in your bank's FAQ, or by calling into a branch to ask for help.
BSB number example
We'll take a look in a moment at how to find the right BSB number for your transfer. First, let's see an example of a BSB number, showing the format. BSB numbers are made up of 3 key pieces of information. You'll find 6 numbers in a BSB code, formatted like this:
Here's an example of what you can expect to see: 112-333
- 11 = Bank - the first 2 numbers represent the bank
- 2 = State - the next number represents the state your local branch is in
- 333 = Branch code - last 3 numbers represent the branch
Combined with your basic account number, this gives processing banks pretty much all they need to find your account for a transfer.
BSB Number FAQ
The BSB does not replace your basic account number. Your account number is unique to you, while the BSB simply guides a processing bank to the right location and branch to find your own individual account.
Think of it like a set of directions. Your BSB might get a visitor to the right city, and even as far as the door to your apartment block. But your account number is needed to help them find the way to your actual apartment to say hello.
A BSB number is 6 digits long. Some banks have a single BSB for all accounts - for other banks, each BSB is unique to a specific branch location.
BSB numbers are used in Australia. The Australian Payments Network is the custodian and supplier of BSB numbers, making sure all banks and branches have a unified system of identification.
In many cases, each bank branch has its own BSB number, so you'll need to look up the exact details you need through your online banking, on correspondence from your bank, or by using one of the helpful tools provided here. However, as we have mentioned, some banks have a single standard BSB number for all accounts.
Here's what you need to know for some of the most popular banks in Australia:
- Beyond Bank uses one BSB code for all branches - 325-185
- Suncorp uses one BSB code for all branches - 484-799
- Commonwealth bank BSB codes can be found here - and usually start with 06
- NAB BSB codes can be found here - and usually start with 08
- Bank of Queensland uses one BSB code for all branches - 124-001
- Westpac BSB codes can be found here - and usually start with 03
Use this handy dedicated finder tool for more BSB codes, and to check you're using the right information for your transfer. If you're unsure about the BSB code to use, make sure you ask the recipient or your own local bank, to avoid delays or errors.
Looking for the BSB number you need for a payment? You can find it in a couple of places. You could use a dedicated BSB finder tool, which is available online. Or you'll be able to find the information you need by logging into online banking, or by looking at statements or other correspondence from your bank.
If you're planning on making an international payment to Australia - or if you're looking for your BSB because you're about to receive a transfer from overseas, it's good to know there are fast, secure ways to get low cost international transfers - like TransferWise.
Cross border payments made with a regular bank can be costly, but with TransferWise you'll only ever pay a low, fixed fee, and you'll always get the mid-market exchange rate with no markup. This can work out to be much cheaper than using your normal bank. See if you can save with TransferWise.